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Joe Aribo scores one of best ever pre-season goals for Southampton with incredible mazy run

Former Rangers player Joe Aribo scores one of best ever pre-season goals for Southampton with an incredible mazy run against Villarreal.

The former Ibrox favourite jinked through four opposition defenders before finishing in a friendly against the La Liga side this afternoon.

Aribo made the move to St Mary’s this summer after he called time on his stint in Glasgow after impressive form under both Steven Gerrard and Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

The Nigerian international was into his final year of his contract and agreed a deal to return down south to join the Premier League club.

And just weeks into his career, Aribo is showing just how good he can be.

Scoring his first goal this afternoon, Aribo went on a stunning drive from the opposition half, past a flurry of opposition players into the box before slotting home.

Sharing the goal, the Southampton account hailed the strike as a “brilliant solo effort”.

A post read: “63: ARIBOOOOOO

“A brilliant solo effort as @J_Aribo19 nets his first #SaintsFC goal! [1-1]”

Saints: Bazunu; Walker-Peters, Bella-Kotchap (Valery, 73), Bednarek, Salisu, Djenepo; Lavia (Romeu, 84), Ward-Prowse, Aribo (Perraud, 84); S Armstrong (Redmond, 84), Mara (A Armstrong, h-t).

Unused subs: Stephens, Lyanco, Diallo, Elyounoussi, Adams, Cabellero (g/k).

Villarreal: Reina; Morlanes, Capoue, Baena, Jackson, Pino, Mandi, Pedraza, De Le Fuente.

Subs: Albiol, Parejo, Foyth, Chukwueze, Estupinan, Dia, Coquelin, Morales, Femenia, Cuenca, Iosifov, Adriano, Nino, Casaro, Rulli (g/k).

Joe Aribo revealed earlier this summer he almost stopped playing football at a crossroads in late adolescence, but trial success paved a Premier League path.

The 26-year-old has featured in all three of the friendlies, since his £6m move from Scottish giants Rangers, including most recently in the 0-0 draw with Watford, operating in midfield for Ralph Hasenhuttl.

Aribo brings with him goalscoring experience from the 2021-22 Europa League final, where his side ended up runners-up to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Aribo considered quitting football entirely when the pressure got too much for him as an adult which meant he had to consider his future in the world more seriously.

“I went to Kingston College, I was meant to go to another college but I didn’t get in because I didn’t enrol in time,” Aribo revealed, on his Instagram.

“I wasn’t playing any football and I didn’t know what I was going to do. I saw one of my old teammates that I was with at under-16 Sunday league level, he was at Staines Town and told me I should go along and play.”

He continued: “My dad wouldn’t have allowed me to not do anything so he would have had me work or study, and my thing was if I was working I wouldn’t have the time or energy to play football.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Joe Aribo (@j.aribo_)

“So I took the education route, I knew it would be good to go to university but I didn’t actually want to. I struggled and would be late and stuff, it got to the point where I couldn’t keep doing it.”

After enrolling at London South Bank University, Marcus Gayle helped Aribo get a trial with Charlton Athletic.

“I’d gone from I’m going to quit football to I’ve got a trial all of a sudden. It was my first ever trial and there were some big players there,” Aribo added.

“I’ve always had that self-belief, but I remember going into the trial and thinking let’s see where it gets you. This was my last chance, if it doesn’t work I’d stop playing football.”

By the age of 19, he signed for the Addicks, making 97 appearances for the London outfit and helping power them to Championship promotion through the play-offs, before a move north of the border.

“I’m always thankful to God for the position I’m in, where I am today and even just being alive,” Aribo said.

“That time winning at Wembley was one of my favourite moments in football, that’s the first major one.”

Following a move to Rangers in 2019, Aribo helped earn silverware with the Scottish Premiership in 2021 and Scottish Cup just a few months ago.

The 2021-22 Europa League run saw Aribo make no fewer than 17 appearances from qualification to the final in Seville.

The Nigerian was a standout player on the night, his goal a highlight despite eventual penalty defeat, and perhaps further alerted the likes of Saints to his talent.

“I don’t think words can actually describe how I felt out there. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to celebrate. I lost like everything,” Aribo reflected.

“I literally didn’t know what to do. I remember I saw my family who were right there. And even in that, just seeing them celebrating was an amazing feeling.

“Rangers are a real family. It holds a big place in my heart. The fans are amazing as are my team-mates and the staff.

“Leaving hasn’t actually sunk in yet. And that’s the thing with me. I don’t really let moments get to me too much.

“I do need to sit down and let this one sink in as it’s literally a dream come true (to move to the English Premier League). From a child, I wanted this.”

Twitter users had their say as Joe Aribo scores one of best ever pre-season goals for Southampton with an incredible mazy run…

@AmritNabil07: Big guy 🎯💪 If this was Messi or Ronaldo the media would be all over it 😌

@Rainbow_Saints: Glue on his feet 😍😍😍

@Willyjo88961035: He’s absolute quality

@GavinNewell4: Love this great feet 😍

@MaestroMatip: Southampton got him for a steal

@levi_stubbs: Really hope they don’t steal Jack Simpson too.

@Jock_Rangers: Only way is up for Joe. Tremendous feet and first touch. Enjoy him saints fans.

@sleedec28: He looks great so far, a cracking buy ! 👍

@Sharpy1872: The Man 👊🏻

@GSL_Moodiesburn: You’ll get this constantly from Joe – could keep a beach ball from you in a phonebox 👏🏻

@Hawfa: Unbelievable player 👏

@Bike_Nut69: You stole him for £10 mil. He’s a class class act. And he will win ya points on his own ….

@Dj_Dazavich: He’s a baller lads 🔴⚪🔵

@stuartwintonrfc: He scored one very similar against braga. Boys got velcro on his boots. I love him 😢

@frasercondie: The joeyest aribo goals of aribo goals

@khogg247: Enjoy this boy 😂 balls genuinely glued to his feet 💯

@ScottyDouglas1: Got yourselves a baller good luck joe and I wish Southampton all the best for the season ahead gers fan

@rjohnston11: @jgrayrfc if there was ever a Jo Aribo goal, that is it 🤣🤣

@ibrox_regular: Love this man… Gutted he’s gone

@Wilkie1976James: Hahahahahaha. Different level 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 miss you Joe 🔴⚪️🔵 @RangersFC

@Brurfc1981: He is class some baller 👏

@VintageApollos: Tremendous player and a tremendous lad. Miss him already but best of luck to him 🔴⚪🔵

@Thecrochunter7: Some goal from the big man… absolute ⚽️er… enjoy him, we certainly did…👍👌👏🔴⚪️🔵

@stu____m: You’ve genuinely got one of the best midfielders in the Prem now

@cjnovo992: Think the add ons & sell on clause are quite safe with Aribo

@a11en222: Aribo is what we’ve been missing for years. A left footed 10 that is creative, has unreal technique and is a goal threat 6m is actually a robbery #SaintsFC

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