Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Rangers dynamo Joe Aribo ‘ticks a lot of boxes’ for Aston Villa boss Gerrard

Joe Aribo Rangers May 2022

Rangers attacking midfielder Joe Aribo “ticks a lot of boxes” for Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard, according to one reporter.

Aston Villa  started their pre-season schedule at Bodymoor Heath this week and Gerrard and his squad will fly out to Australia in two weeks.

Villa have friendly games against Leeds United, Brisbane Roar, and Manchester United. And Gerrard will be keen to get the majority of his squad together before they fly out.

Villa have already added midfielder Boubacar Kamara, defender Diego Carlos, Philippe Coutinho and Robin Olsen.

Gerrard though is still thought to want three new players, including an attacking midfielder and a left-back.

TalkSPORT’s Alex Crook does not think Villa are in a hurry to add to their squad. But the reporter has acknowledged that Aribo is a possibility.

The Gers star is wanted by a number of clubs in England after an impressive season at Ibrox.

Aribo, 25, clocked up a phenomenal 70 games for Rangers in their run to the Europa League final. He was the world’s busiest footballer and he is out of contract next summer.

He also chipped in with nine goals and 10 assists in his 57 games for Rangers and a number of scouts have checked on him.

The Scottish Sun have reported that Villa, Crystal Palace and Fulham and Nottingham Forest are in the race for the Nigeria international.

But Gerrard signed the player from Charlton in July 2019 and has obvious links to the Londoner.

Joe Aribo keen to develop

The former Liverpool skipper is also a big fan and said he wanted “to grow” in December 2021.

“Listen, he’s a great kid. He wants to learn, he wants to grow,” Gerrard told BT Sport after Rangers’ 2-0 win over Brondby.

“What I’ve said to Joe is, ‘you are a much better player when you play angry in a nice way. Flex your muscles, you are six foot three, you are a big strong lad, go and put yourself about’.

“And when he does, he is a joy to watch. I thought his first 45 minute performance today was outstanding.

And although Crook told GiveMeSport that Villa are taking their time over their next move, he believes a deal for Aribo will appeal to Gerrard and Villa’s backroom team.

Crook said: “I don’t think they’re in any great rush to add more faces, but Joe Aribo, obviously, he’s got that connection with Steven Gerrard from Rangers as well, so that ticks a lot of boxes.”