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Southampton fee for Nigeria star Aribo was a 'shock', admits ex-Celtic player Ferry

08:44 BST 09/08/2022
Joe Aribo Southampton 2022-23
The 24-year-old Super Eagle left the Gers this summer to sign a four-year contract with the Saints

Former Celtic midfielder Simon Ferry has admitted he was left baffled with the transfer fee paid by Premier League outfit Southampton to acquire the services of midfielder Joe Aribo from Scottish giants Rangers.

After impressing for the Gers at Ibrox, the 26-year-old Nigeria international finally moved to sign a four-year contract with the Saints on July 9, 2022, for an initial £6 million fee.

According to Ferry, who started his career with Scottish Premier League club Celtic, Rangers would have asked for 'a bit more' for the player, whom he described as strong, can tackle, create and score goals.

Ferry told Grosvenor Sport as quoted by The Scotsman: “£20m is the most that clubs in Scotland will get for a player now.

"If you look at Kieran Tierney, who was exceptional in the league over the course of a couple of years, he left for £25m and so you look at Calvin Bassey who’s only really performed consistently for six months – for me £20m is a no brainer.

“Joe Aribo’s £6m fee was more of a shock for me. He can run box-to-box, he’s strong, can tackle and also scores and creates goals.

“But maybe, because he wasn’t as effective in the last three months of his Rangers career as he was in the first six months of the season, the price tag came down a little bit."

Ferry further claimed based on the Super Eagles' quality alone, he would have gone for a higher figure.

“Based on his quality alone I’d have been wanting a bit more than £6m but what Scottish clubs don’t want is players running down their contracts and going for free so if there is a hint that Aribo is looking for a move away, it’s so important that clubs do get a bit of money for them,” added Ferry.

Aribo made his Premier League debut for Southampton as they suffered a 4-1 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur last Saturday.