Nigerian Footballers Abroad

Aribo admits Southampton first year frustration

It is exactly one year today since Southampton FC announced the signing of Nigerian midfielder Joe Aribo. One year on, the 26-year old looks back at a frustrating first season with the Saints.

Aribo joined Southampton FC from Glasgow Rangers on July 9, 2022 ending his three year stay at Ibrox, to take up a new challenge with the Saints in England’s top-flight.

One year after, things have not gone according to plan. The Nigerian playmaker moved from the player who helped Rangers win a Scottish Premiership title in 10 years, lifted the Scottish Cup, and reach the 2021/202 season’s UEFA Europa League in which he scored in the final to a bit part role at St. Mary’s.

That season will end with Southampton suffering relegation to the second tier and as Aribo acknowledged in his conversation with Planet Football Africa Podcast, ‘ It was a ‘ frustrating ‘ first year.

Aribo said ” For me, very frustrating.

” It was tough because you want to do so well for yourself, you know. I had a new challenge and I wanted to hit the ground running.

” And obviously, I had all of these goals and what I wanted to do, also to help the team. But I didn’t feel I got the chance to do that and it was really frustrating. It was a season of learning.

“But also, I felt like I needed that season because it was God that put me in that situation and I have learnt that he doesn’t do it for no reason. There was a reason behind it. Right now I am questioning that reason but we just have to put our faith in God and trust. ”

When asked about his feeling after experiencing relegation for the first time, Aribo continued: ‘It’s really frustrating. You kind of don’t know what to do with yourself because for me, like you said, I have never experienced so I didn’t know how to take it.

“It was a bitter one to take, but another reason why it was so bitter for me is because I didn’t really get a chance, a proper chance, to help the team. Like, seeing it all unfold was really upsetting for me.” the London-born midfielder concluded.

Except a transfer happens, Joe Aribo is set to enter his second year with Southampton FC.

When he joined in 2022, the midfielder signed a four year deal and so is contracted to the Saints until 2026.

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