One in, one out at Aston Villa as pundit tips Joe Aribo for Steven Gerrard reunion

Joe Aribo, Rangers, May 2022.

Alan Hutton feels Bertrand Traore could make way for Joe Aribo at Aston Villa this summer, with the latter potentially reuniting with Steven Gerrard.

Traore’s career at Aston Villa has been stop-start. The winger did contribute to 14 goals in his first season at the club, in 2020/21.

However, that was under the management of the man who bought him, Dean Smith. Since Gerrard took over, Traore’s game time has suffered massively.

The 26-year-old has played just eight league games under Gerrard, starting only one of those. It seems as if he may be surplus to requirements, as the manager looks to make the squad his own.

That is a sentiment echoed by former Villa man Hutton, who can see Gerrard adding fresh elements to his side in the summer.

“Gerrard’s been evaluating his squad this year. I think he’ll make improvements in the summer and he’ll really try and kick on,” he told Football Insider.

He feels Aribo could be in line for a reunion with his former manager. However, Hutton also thinks somebody like Traore may have to move on for that to happen.

“Aribo is very much the profile of some of the players that are already there. It’s going to be difficult,” he added.

Joe Aribo, Europa League, Rangers

“I think what Steven Gerrard will do is probably move some out of the squad, the likes of Bertrand Traore. These kinds of guys have had umpteen opportunities and it’s not worked out.”

Traore has hardly been utilised by Gerrard, and that tells you his future may well be away from Villa.

Hutton feels Aribo would thrive at Villa

While Aribo can play in a number of positions, Hutton feels Villa offloading Traore could make room for the Rangers man.

“It might free up some space in those wide areas where he can operate. I think what he does give you is that versatility. He can play all along the front, he can play in midfield. He’s that type of player,” he said.

Hutton also feels that Aribo would thrive, should he move to Villa.

“Obviously Steven Gerrard knows him inside out, knows what he’s capable of, what level he can play at,” he said.

“I’m pretty sure if he did go down to Villa, they’re obviously my other team, he would do well.”

A move to Villa may well be a good one for Aribo. His versatile nature could mean he was able to perform in a number of positions.

What’s more, he has been one of the shining lights in the Rangers side this season. He is their fourth-top goalscorer, with nine goals in all competitions.

That includes Gers’ only goal in the Europa League final. Aribo’s ability to turn it on in big games would stand him in good stead in the Premier League.

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