UEL

'Joe Aribo should play as a striker' - Commons suggests bold decision for Rangers' Europa League semifinal

Rangers are without first-choice strikers Alfredo Morelos and Kemar Roofe as they travel to face RB Leipzig

Joe Aribo had a hand in toe of the three goals Rangers scored in the quarterfinal against Braga (IMAGO/Revierfoto)

Sky Sports pundit Kris Commons has made a bold suggestion that Super Eagles midfielder Joe Aribo should be deployed as a false nine by Rangers in their upcoming matches.

Rangers have a striker crisis as they prepare to face German side, RB Leipzig, in the semifinals of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, April 28.

First-choice strikers Alfredo Morelos and Kemar Roofe are both unavailable to Giovanni van Bronckhorst due to injury whilst Aribo has recently found his scoring boots.

In his column for the Scottish Daily Mail, Commons stated that the answer to Rangers' striker conundrum could be deploying Aribo as a 'false nine' in a fluid front three also consisting of Fashion Sakala and Ryan Kent.

Commons wrote: “That’s the sort of system I think might suit Rangers best in Leipzig — and I believe Joe Aribo is the man best suited to playing the false nine role.

“In terms of his touch and his technical ability, he’s a much better player than Sakala. I think a front three of Aribo centrally, with Sakala and Ryan Kent out wide, could cause Leipzig problems.

“Aribo and Kent were rested for Saturday’s victory over Motherwell in the Premiership, so they should be fresh and raring to go come Thursday night.

Commons also said that the Nigerian international is finally getting back to his early-season form after suffering a dip since he returned from the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon.

“It’s a funny one with Aribo (right). In the first half of the season, he was one of the best players in the country and looked a decent bet for Player of the Year along with some of the Celtic contingent," Commons explained.

"But he definitely went off the boil when he returned from the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria a couple of months ago.

“In saying that, I think he’s definitely been finding some form again in recent games. His performances have picked up and he’s looking more dangerous.”

Joe Aribo played a huge role in Rangers' qualification for the semifinals of this season's Europa League, providing two (2) assists in Rangers' 3-1 second-leg victory that saw the Gers see off Braga 3-2 on aggregate.

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