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Rangers will not miss Nigeria duo Aribo & Bassey - Gers legend Laudrup

21:00 SAST 2022/07/26
Joe Aribo Southampton 2022-23
The former forward thinks the Scottish giants have utilised the transfer fees earned from the two and have enough quality for the 2022-23 season

Rangers legend Brian Laudrup says the club will not miss Nigeria duo Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey, who have left the Gers for Southampton and Ajax, respectively.

Midfielder Aribo left Rangers in a deal worth £10m as he moved to the Premier League while defender Bassey swapped the Scottish Premiership for the Dutch Eredivisie for more than £20m but Laudrup, who played for Rangers from 1994-1998, believes the club have utilised the money well and will be fine without them.

“If you split last season into two halves, there was an argument for Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey being the two best players at Rangers,” said Laudrup as reported by The Scottish Sun.

"At times, Aribo was almost unplayable prior to Christmas. Bassey then showed astonishing development in the second half of the campaign to make him one of the most sought-after young defenders in Europe.”

"A couple of months back, I would have winced at the prospect of both departing Ibrox this summer. But it's happened. And the result is actually exciting. Because the huge money earned from their sales holds the key to this season's Premiership title race.”

“I like the look of how Rangers have spent so far. There's a tremendous mix within the seven signings made, a bit of everything, really. I feel it's going to be an incredibly tight contest with Celtic this season,” he said.

"They are the settled side and the reigning champions. But if Giovanni van Bronckhorst can get his new additions to gel as quickly as possible, I think Rangers now have a greater overall depth of quality than they did last season, even without Aribo and Bassey.”

"That might just be enough to edge things in their favour over the course of a truly fascinating campaign.”

Aribo joined Rangers from English side Charlton in 2019, making 149 appearances while scoring 26 goals. The 2021-22 season was one of his best in Scotland as he managed nine goals while providing eight assists as Rangers reached the Europa League final, which he scored in, and won the Scottish Cup.

Meanwhile, 22-year-old Bassey made his senior debut for Rangers two years ago after joining from Leicester City’s U21 team, and also had a standout campaign last season, featuring in 50 games in all competitions. He left the Gers after making 65 appearances and scoring one goal.

Both players were part of the Rangers’ squad that claimed the 2020-21 league title, after going the whole season unbeaten under Steven Gerrard.