Gerrard wants Joe Aribo to have more freedom on the pitch
Gerrard wants Joe Aribo to have more freedom on the pitch
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Gerrard wants Joe Aribo to have more freedom on the pitch

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has handed midfielder Joe Aribo the permission to play with freedom on the pitch.

After joining from Charlton Athletic in the summer, Aribo struggled in the start but has now found his form in Gerrard's team.

The manager has pushed the 23-year-old forward into a three-pronged attack and told him to wreak havoc against opposition defences.

“I’ve given Joe Aribo more responsibility and he’s benefited from that. It has also had a knock-on effect with Scott Arfield because he’s now playing as a midfielder facing the opposition goal, which is what we want from him." He was quoted as saying on Punch.

“Joe came on to the scene and was good, moving in from that left number eight position. Now he’s settled in, we believe that giving him less information and less tactical discipline will help the team.

“When we recruited him from Charlton, he was a central number 10, playing with his back to goal and with a licence to break the rules.

“Now he’s playing in a similar system for us, although more from the right side, and we want him to break the rules and have more freedom and show the real Joe Aribo from a more forward position.

“I’m sure this season has been an education for him and it is difficult for these young lads moving away from their families for the first time.

“Joe came in and was strong and it was only normal to have a little bit of a dip and that is when we were there to give him help and support.

“It’s important I give him enough time to get back and see his family and make sure he’s happy off the pitch because we will only feel the benefits in terms of his form on it.”

Aribo has made four appearances for Nigeria's Super Eagles and has scored two goals.

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