‘Losing Aribo, Bassey will disrupt Rangers’ rhythm’

By Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor

Rangers were busy in the summer transfer window to cash in on two of their vital players, Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey.

To the Scottish club, the deal was a good one having brought both players to Ibrox for less than £1million and sold them for about £30million to Southampton and Ajax.

While the Gers relished their gains as they travelled to Belgium to face Union Saint-Gilloise in the third-round UEFA Champions League qualifiers, Christian Burgess claimed that the Scottish club will be affected tremendously by the departure of the Nigeria internationals.

Comparatively, he said that the effect of the departure of both players from Ibrox will surmount the amount made from their sales.

Burgess, who plays in the Belgium topflight for Union Saint-Gilloise, exemplified Aribo as a good player who both played together in the English Championships.

The 30-year-old centre-back joined Union Saint-Gilloise last two seasons from Portsmouth on a free transfer and also played for Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and Peterborough.

“Ideally, losing these guys might disrupt Rangers’ rhythm. I played against Aribo when he was at Charlton, just before he moved to Rangers, and he was a really good player even then,” Burgess said in the media.

“Obviously Bassey has gone too so there has been a bit of disruption where last season’s side is concerned. It’s similar to our own situation. When a team does so well it attracts a lot of attention and you end up having your best players cherry picked,” he added.

Union Saint-Gilloise pipped Belgium topflight clubs, Club Brugge and Anderlecht to clinch the title last season, a quirk in the Belgian Pro League.

Relatively, Burgess revealed that Les Unionistes are presently engulfed with issues that emanated from the departure of one of their key players, Casper Nielsen.

He said, “We have just lost Casper Nielsen who was one of our best players last season so we are dealing with the same sort of issues. That was a big blow to us as we were hoping he would stay around a bit longer.”

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Furthermore, the Englishman pointed out that the Gers with the depth of their squad will provide replacements which, however, will definitely affect the rhythm of their game.

Burgess continued: “But that’s football. Rangers might have lost some key guys but they should have enough depth in their squad to cope with that. But, from our point of view, hopefully that gets in the way of their flow and slows them up a little bit.

“I know what it’s like when you lose a key player and someone else has to step up into that position and fill their boots. It’s really tough for that person to assimilate themselves quickly. So that’s going to be a challenge for Rangers,” he added.

Aribo and Bassey were key figures for the Gers last season to reach the final of the Europa League against Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville.

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