'He can score goals' - Southampton boss defends decision to play Aribo as a striker

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl defends his decision to play Super Eagles star Joe Aribo as a striker

Ralph Hasenhuttl hails Joe Aribo

The Nigerian international midfielder was tried in an unfamiliar position, starting as one of two strikers for the Saints in what was a forgettable debut.

Southampton manager, Ralph Hasenhuttl has come out to address the inquiry about the decision to play Aribo as a striker.

“If you want to work for a club or for a team or whatever, and you do well in the pre-season, then I think you deserve to get the chance to play in the beginning,” Hasenhuttl said in a Southampton fans forum.

The Austrian coach spoke further, “Joe Aribo I think also showed that he can score goals and not bad goals so far for me. When you have the two options, it was the choice to go with these two guys.”

“And in the end, I think it should be always up to performances and the things you show and there's nothing older in football than goals you scored in last season or whatever. You have to show it every week,” Hasenhuttl said hinting that Aribo may yet play many more games as a striker.

Aribo’s low shot at goal in the second half which was saved by Hugo Lloris was the only real highlight of his Southampton bow against Tottenham.

The 26-year-old will have a chance to impress for the Saints again, this time on home turf when Leicester City comes visiting on Saturday.

Going by his manager’s comments, Aribo may yet play up front as a striker again when the Saints take on Leicester City.

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