Steve Gerrard has hit back at Charlton boss Lee Bowyer by insisting Rangers star Joe Aribo is playing football in the right place.
“I worked so hard to get him to this situation he is in now,” the former Newcastle and Leeds midfielder said.
“If he goes to Rangers that is not the right place for him to go for his football career.
“It doesn’t make sense on the football side. When people from England go and play for Celtic and Rangers it is at the end of their careers. That’s because it is very rare you get a move from Rangers to the Premier League, and I don’t mean any disrespect by that.
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“They might go from Rangers to the Championship, very rarely is it to the Premier League. For me he should stay in England and keep progressing.”
Aribo has broken through on the international stage since impressing for Rangers, earning his first cap for Nigeria and scoring in their recent 2-2 friendly draw with Ukraine.
And Gerrard uses that as proof to suggest Bowyer’s comments were wide of the mark.
Gerrard said: “I spoke to Joe, he was on a recovery day. He is in a fantastic place, smiling away.
“Congratulations to him, his first game and he manages to get a goal.
“And he was rewarded for his form as a Rangers player. It was his first call-up so it shows you he’s at the right place, playing football at the right level: European football, playing in Old Firms.
“At last he has been recognised as an international player.
“Joe Aribo is in the right place, trust me.
“They must have started watching him since he was playing for Rangers.
“They must be happy with him playing in Europa League games and playing in front of 51,000.
“The people who select for the Nigerian national team know now that he can play in big football games.
“I don’t know many players in the Championship who are playing for Nigeria.”
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