Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst says the club’s Nigerian imports Joe Aribo , Leon Balogun and Calvin Bassey will continue to be picked for the upcoming fixtures if they are fit to play.
The former Netherlands international says the Nigerian trio’s possible participation in the 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations which starts early next month in Cameroun does not alter his plan for the club and the players.
”We know there is a Nations Cup coming in January. That’s something for then, I just focus on what we have until then. That’s our priority. I’m not thinking about resting players because they might play in the African Nations Cup. The main focus is to get three points in every game we play with Rangers,’ said the midfielder who was an instrumental player in Barcelona’s 2005–06 UEFA Champions League victory, being in the starting line-up of the final, having played every Champions League match for Barcelona that season.
Aribo has been particularly outstanding for Rangers this season, scoring five times and bagging three assists as they look to successfully defend the Scottish Premiership title they won for the first time in 10 years last season.
The 25 year old has featured 28 times in all competitions for the Gers this term and will likely feature in three more league games before joining up with the Super Eagles on December 27.
Balogun has appeared 18 times for Rangers this term and has missed the club’s last five games due to injury. It is not sure if the 33 year old will be available when his club visits the Tynecastle Park as guest of Hearts this weekend in a matchweek 18 fixture.
Bassey who has expressed his interest in playing for Nigeria at the AFCON has become a permanent feature in the club’s line up as a central defender. He has featured all 90 minutes in the last six Premiership games the club has played and has appeared 10 times in the league so far this term.