Creativity is something that is hard to teach on a training pitch. You can coach a player into making the right decisions at the right time but having the ability to see a pass, as well as having the talent to pull it off, is a natural gift.
Manager Steven Gerrard believes Charlton midfielder Joe Aribo has the potential to be that creative outlet for Rangers next season:
“We have good midfielders, we have experience, we have good young ones. But we didn’t have this type of midfielder with the characteristics Joe has.”
“I’m looking forward to getting this over the line and working with him. Is he the guy to unlock defences? Yes, he’s very capable.”
A number of EPL clubs were after the 22-year-old, and the fact that the Gers could sign him for just £300,000 is a testament to Gerrard’s persuasion skills as well as the lure of playing for one of the country’s most high profile clubs.
There is, of course, a danger of overhyping Aribo’s ability, but as Gerrard has rightly mentioned, the midfielder has a combination of characteristics that make him an exciting young prospect.
As well as having an eye for goal (he scored ten for Charlton last season), he is also very capable on the ball, but he has a number of strong physical attributes as well.
Aribo is 6ft and he is very hard to knock off the ball. Combined with his athleticism and speed, he has all the makings of a box-to-box midfielder.
The playmaker has been criticised for joining Rangers by Addicks boss Lee Bowyer but considering his attributes, who is better than Gerrard to help realise his potential?
A former world class player who played in Aribo’s position on the pitch, the Liverpool legend can impart so much wisdom to the young midfielder and help him improve his game.
It may take some time for him to develop fully into his role as a midfielder, but in the meantime, Rangers now have a player that the club had been missing for a while.
With the likes of Steven Davis, Glen Kamara and Ryan Jack, the squad has players with good passing ability and high work rate, but it lacks that X Factor.
Someone who can commit opposition players in the middle of the park, whilst also picking out a pass. Someone who can create a goal when nothing seems to be on.
To bridge the gap to Celtic, those are the types of talents you need in your squad. Hopefully, in Aribo, Rangers will have that player next season who can make the difference when a game seems to be lost or is destined for a draw. Those extra points could prove vital in a title challenge.