SUPER EAGLES

Rangers are suffering for selling Aribo, Bassey - Walker

The rival Celtic ex-player boldly stated that the sale of Aribo and Bassey could cost Rangers the Champions League

Calvin Bassey and Joe Aribo both left Rangers this summer

Former Celtic striker Andy Walker has noted that the current Rangers squad has been significantly weakened by the sale of Super Eagles duo Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey.

The 57-year-old believes that the Scottish giants might see their chances of qualifying for the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League reduced due to the summer transfers of the Nigerian players.

Rangers recently played a 2-2 draw at home against Dutch PSV Eindhoven in the first leg of their Champions League playoffs.

Rangers sold Aribo and Bassey to Southampton and Ajax respectively for a combined fee of over €30m, after both Super Eagles stars impressed during the 2021/22 season.

However, Walker said on The Go Radio Football Show as reported by Daily Record that the current Rangers squad is just plainly not as good as the one that had both Aribo and Bassey.

Walker explained: "The only thing I would say is that was with Joe Aribo and with Calvin Bassey. I thought the two of them were consistently playing at a high level. I'm just not convinced this Rangers team is as good as that one."

The former Scottish international went on to say that while Rangers conceded two goals at home against PSV, the Giovanni van Bronckhorst-led side are still capable of grabbing an away victory.

Walker also commented that the absence of the away goal rule could see both clubs who are adept at playing attacking football score more goals.

"I'm still intrigued by doing away with the away goal, and I think it helped the game. I think PSV came to Glasgow wanting to win it," Walker stated.

"It doesn't matter that Rangers have lost two goals at home, they have just got a draw and they (PSV) can be a bit more open minded in attack.

"Rangers have shown time and time again over the last couple of season's that they are capable of going away from home and getting a big result."

Rangers have recorded back-to-back victories in their opening three matches of the 2022/23 Scottish Premiership but they have not been convincing in their Champions League playoffs.

The beaten Europa League finalists from last season needed a 3-0 home win against Belgian club Union Saint-Gilloise to proceed to the final UEFA Champions League playoffs after losing 2-0 away in the first leg.

The Van Bronckhorst-led side will be hoping for another second-leg victory in the Netherlands if they are to compete in the group stages of the Champions League this season.

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