Marcus Gayle has tipped Joe Aribo for the top and said hopes he will join Rangers, amid reports from Daily Record that the Glasgow club have made an approach.
Speaking to Daily Record, former Rangers player Gayle said Aribo is well equipped to play for Rangers and cope with the pressure of the Ibrox crowd.
The two know each other well, Gayle having managed Aribo during his time at Staines Town – he was the man who first put him in touch with Charlton when he contacted under 23s manager Jason Euell.
The Charlton midfielder has had a brilliant year and was the Addicks’ key man in their promotion run. He scored nine goals and assisted five in 36 games in League One, leading to interest from Celtic and Aston Villa.
Speaking to Daily Record, Gayle said: “Joe is still so young and hungry and he’s determined. I’m very proud of him and hopefully he gets the dream move that he wants.
“The move to Charlton was the beginning of Joe and you knew if he was in that professional environment that anything could happen because he had the quality.
I spoke to him a couple of weeks ago after the play-off final win over Sunderland. I congratulated him and told him to keep pushing.
“It will be down to him and his agent what his next move but but if it doesn’t happen then he will start the season as a Championship player and that will be his springboard to a higher level.
Whilst at Staines, Gayle knew Aribo was destined for bigger and better things, and even made the 22-year-old promise that he would deliver on his potential.
Gayle added: “I said to him ‘Joe, promise me one thing – that you’re going to make it as a pro because if you’re at this level in two years time then something’s gone wrong and I ain’t doing my job or you ain’t pushing as you should’.
Aribo made the promise and now he has delivered on it. His contract is expiring at the end of the month and with several top clubs chasing his signature it is only a matter of time until he is playing at the highest level.
Gayle knows the player well, he knows his temperament as well as his ability.
If he knew what type of player Aribo could be at 18 then his judgement is probably reliable, as so far Aribo has proved him right on the pitch.
The likes of Rangers, Celtic and Aston Villa would be a big step up, both in terms of the level of ability but also the pressure on him.
It’s a big jump to make especially for a young player, but if Gayle is right in what he says then Aribo should thrive in that environment. Working with high quality managers, particularly Gerrard who played in the same position, will help him no end.