The Sunday Post (Dundee)

Premier League would be a walk in the park for Joe

- By Danny Stewart SPORT@SUNDAYPOST.COM Alex Rae and Mark Wilson were speaking at a Papa Johns SPFL event in Glasgow.

Alex Rae believes Joe Aribo could walk into the first team of any of his English Premier League admirers.

The Rangers midfielder, who is in the last year of his contract, has been linked with a multimilli­onpound move to Nottingham Forest.

They are playing catch up in the transfer window after winning their way into England’s top flight through the play-offs.

Forest showed their intent by spending a club record £ 17- million fee for Union Berlin striker, Taiwo Awonyi , and now want to sign his Nigerian internatio­nal teammate, Aribo.

However, they could face fierce competitio­n from Aston Villa, whose manager Steven Gerrard had the 2 5 - ye a r- o l d under his charge at Ibrox.

The Birmingham club have had interest in John Mcginn from Tottenham, and a sale would leave them short of a goalscorin­g midfielder.

Whatever happens – and Crystal Palace and Fulham are also admirers – Rae is sure Aribo would be up the challenge.

“I think Joe could walk into the Premier League all day long,” said the former Rangers midfielder, now assistant manager of Reading.

“When you look at the way he plays, at his European performanc­es, and what he does for his country at internatio­nal level, that is the conclusion you come to.

“He is very good t e c h n i c a l l y, is experience­d, and I have no doubt he would be able to cope with the physical demands of the game there.

“I think in the opening half of last season, Aribo was the outstandin­g player in Scotland by a distance.

“His form dipped a bit at the turn of the year after he went to the African Nations, but it picked up again towards the end of the season.”

With Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent likewise entering the final year of their deal, Rae believes Rangers have some big decisions to make.

“It is interestin­g because i f you sold all three, you would be looking at fortunes coming in,” said the Scot.

“Do that, and they could actually go and pay fees Rangers have not been able to in recent years.

“They could pay maybe £7-£8m for a really good young player, for example, and look to sell them on for maybe £25m further down the line.

“But I would say they cannot sell all three of these guys, unless they have decent targets in mind to come in and replace them.

“Whatever they do, there is an opportunit­y for Rangers f r om a recruitmen­t point of view.”

 ?? ?? Joe Aribo after scoring in the Europa League Final
Joe Aribo after scoring in the Europa League Final

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