Algeria friendly: Why Aribo was dropped


Johnny Edward

Fresh facts have emerged on why Joe Aribo is missing from Nigeria’s squad for next week’s international friendly against Algeria in Oran, PUNCH Sports Extra reports exclusively.

On Saturday, a 22-man squad was published by the Nigeria Football Federation with the Southampton midfielder not listed.

A team official told PUNCH Sports Extra exclusively that the midfielder asked to be excused from the game to settle in well at his new club.

“The coach (Jose Peseiro) wants to test some other players in the central midfield position and that’s why Raphael Onyedika was invited,” our source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told only PUNCH Sports Extra.

“Also, his (Aribo) exclusion is to help him settle in well at his new club.”

Meanwhile, Southampton coach, Ralph Hasenhuttl, believes the international break came at a perfect time for the Saints to analyse their recent performances and together work on their performances.

“It would be good if everybody is here but it isn’t. We will have some players here, I think seven or eight, but still a few ones that started here today,” Hasenhuttl said.

Of the outfield players, Hasenhuttl could still have Kyle Walker-Peters, Lyanco, Romain Perraud, Ibrahima Diallo, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Theo Walcott, Adam Armstrong and Aribo.

“We have definitely time to analyse what happened in the last two away games because they are very similar. In the last time we had chances but at Villa it was a step back I must say,” the manager added.

“We have to be very clear how we want to play and what we want to do to be better.”

Saints will next play on Saturday, October 1, when they welcome Everton to St Mary’s in their eighth Premier League clash of the campaign.