Aribo issues damning verdict after debut Premier League season

Aribo issues damning verdict after debut Premier League season
Credit: Iconsport

Southampton and Super Eagles midfielder Joe Aribo has come out once again to talk about how much his failures from last season have affected him.

The 26-year-old joined the Saints in the summer of 2022 despite offers from other Premier League sides. The move did not go as planned as his game time dwindled and the club eventually were relegated from the top flight.

He is now back in the lower divisions of English football after spending time there a few years back before signing for Scottish giants Rangers.

He shared his thoughts on the situation and his plans.

I didn't get the chance to help the team – Joe Aribo

Despite hitting the ground running, Aribo ended the season as a squad player, to his chagrin.

After building a reputation at St Mary's Stadium, he found himself warming the bench in the dugout for home and away games. He could not play as he did while at Rangers in the Scottish Premiership and the constant change in management also saw that his role was reduced greatly in the squad.

By the end of the 2022/23 season, it looked like his future at the club was uncertain as he had lost the support of the fans and the management at the time.

Now preparing for life in the Championship, Aribo spoketo the media on his first season back in England.

Asked how he would sum up the season, he said, “For me, very frustrating. It was tough because you want to do so well for yourself, you know. I had a new challenge and I wanted to hit the ground running.

“And obviously, I had all of these goals and what I wanted to do, also to help the team. But I didn't feel I got the chance to do that and it was really frustrating.”

Aribo also talked about the lessons he took from the season and how he hopes to apply them going forward.

“It was a season of learning,” he added. “I think I needed that season because it was God that put me in that situation and I've learnt that he doesn't do it for no reason.

“Right now I'm questioning the reason, but we just have to put our faith in God.”

Aribo expresses disappointment over first relegation

Joe Aribo
Photo by Icon Sport

Speaking about the experience of being relegated for the first time in his career – Aribo played with Charlton Athletic in the same league until leaving for Rangers – he once again repeated how frustrating it was while emphasising the lessons that the situation has taught him.

“It's really frustrating [to be relegated],” he continued.

“You don't know what to do with yourself. I didn't know how to take it because it was a bitter one to take. Another reason it was bitter was because I didn't get the chance to help the team so watching it all unfold was upsetting.”

Aribo then talked about the AFCON 2023 finals and his mindset towards the upcoming continental showpiece in Ivory Coast.

“Every tournament we go into, we want to win,” he remarked.

“For me, especially. I'm a fighter, so I want to win. I think it's really important to take every game as it comes. We can't look too far forward

“We have to take every game as it comes and showcase what we have and get the results that we need.”

This article was most recently revised and updated 12 months ago

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