Written by Ricky Carroll
What a fairytale journey it's been for Joe Aribo. From winning the Staines Town academy player of the year award in 2014 - to playing and scoring in a European final. The ascension of this baller has been sensational!
After leaving Staines, Aribo had a successful trial at Charlton Athletic, which led to him signing a one year deal in 2016. He quickly impressed - and made his debut in an EFL cup defeat against Crawley Town. Lee Bowyer gave Aribo his big chance, and he took it with both hands and never looked back! Aribo was sensational during the 2018-19 season and was influential in helping Charlton back into the Championship via a playoff win.
After rejecting a new contract at Charlton, Aribo moved to Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers. He has predominantly played in a central midfield role but has been effective - playing out wide. He also proved to be a problem for the opposition when playing up front, as seen in the Europa League final against Frankfurt - when he pounced on a defensive mistake to race clear and score.
When you watch Joe play, there's a bit of Paulo Wanchope about him! He's a brilliant player to help his team transition. He's excellent with the ball at his feet - running at the opposition. Amazingly this season, Aribo has appeared over 60 times for club and country (Nigeria). There's no doubting his best quality is his dribbling. He can change a game in a second with a moment of magic! Aribo is brilliant at picking up little pockets of space and driving forward at the opposition defence.
He's a nightmare for any opposition, as he never stops driving forward. He's comfy with the ball at his feet and can shift the ball onto either foot. As a defender, you never know what way Joe will go. His movement off the ball is also one of his strengths. He will play a pass and demand the ball back again so he can drive the team forward. Joe is physically imposing and very difficult to outwork. He has a great engine and never stops working on and off the ball.
Joe Aribo is an integral part of Rangers and now for Nigeria. If Joe gets the ball at his feet, it's a problem for the opposition. He can drive forward and score goals - or play that killer pass to a teammate. What a season it's been for this Camberwell born baller!