Versatile Super Eagles midfielder, Joe Aribo, has reiterated that playing in different positions over the last few years has helped him develop as a player.
The midfielder, 25, has played in different positions in the last season after featuring over 70 times. Aribo played as a defensive midfielder, center midfielder, attacking midfielder, right forward and center forward under Giovanni Van Bronckhorst and Steven Gerrard last season.
In an interview with BBC Sport Africa, Joe Aribo who played as a center forward in UEFA Europa League match against Frankfurt said he was no longer the player he was after but he is happy with his versatility now.
“Playing in different positions has helped me realise what I’m capable of doing and also given me an opportunity to keep growing,” Aribo told BBC Sport Africa.
“As a young footballer craving a chance to play, you’d grab the chance to even play in goal. But here I am being asked to play for my club in different roles on the pitch. I was happy to do it.
“I must say I am no longer the player I was after going through that phase [of self-doubt].
“I am grateful to the manager for the trust, my team-mates for believing in me and supporting me, ” he said.
Whilst being very versatile, Aribo played more games than any other footballer in Europe this season, featuring 13 times for Nigeria and 57 times for Glasglow Rangers.
This makes it evident that Aribo is indispensable for this club side and national team.
“Funnily enough I was always this shy player with doubts in my own ability,” Aribo told BBC Sport Africa.
“But now I have self-belief, because I have the right people around me to give me that confidence to say ‘Yes, you’re the man that’s going to take on the game and change the game’.
“Some people like to take the centre stage in everything they do in life, but I prefer to stay in the background and let others talk about my performance on the pitch.
“I honestly didn’t know I have played more games this season than any other player out there. I feel very happy to hear that.
“I also have got the strength from God – I know I can keep going whenever I feel tired.”
Aribo featured as a centre midfielder and defensive midfielder under new Super Eagles manager, Jose Peseiro, and will be a vital part of his team.