Having won the hearts and minds of Super Eagles fans with ruthlessly efficient displays against Ukraine and Brazil in 2019 friendlies, Joe Aribo came out to say that the winning mentality to which he approaches club football is no different from playing for Nigeria.
Speaking recently, the 23 year old centre midfielder said: "there’s an expectation at Rangers to win, where also that’s like Nigeria, expected to win. So, I mean, that’s helped me bring that (mentality) to the international stage."
So far in 4 games for Nigeria, Aribo has been involved in 2 wins and 2 draws grabbing himself 2 eloquently taken goals in the process, with performances that have sealed his place in the Super Eagles squad.
However, it has not been all rosy for the Rangers man even at this early stage of his Super Eagles career.
Weak! Weak! Weak! was how Ex-Super Eagles defender Taribo West described Aribo's performances against African oppositions whilst Steve Dede of Pulse.ng slammed his performance against Lesotho calling it 'Aribo's first bad game for Nigeria.'
If truth be told, 2 games against African oppositions are far too few to form a balanced opinion about Aribo's game against African oppositions. Also, he actually performed impressively against Benin where he held the ball well and dispensed his midfield role efficiently.
With international football expected to resume in earnest, Joe Aribo will be hoping to renew his winning mentality which will be required for him to nail down his place in a national team set up where options are arising almost at a daily basis.
In Aribo's centre midfield position, stiff competition currently comes from the like of Etebo and Azeez. With Wycombe Wanderers clinching promotion to the English Championship, expect Nigeria Under-20 invitational Nathan Ofoborh to push for Super Eagles invitation.
You also have Ovie Ejaria (already expected to be invited for Nigeria) , Kingsley Michael and Alhassan Yusuf all centre midfield options to look out for next season. Powerful club performances for these players could translate to Super Eagles invitation and a challenge to Aribo's position.
With all these quality players becoming available, Joe Aribo will need to continue imbibing his winning mentality to starve off competition and establish his place in the Super Eagles squad.
With how he has performed thus far, the signs are looking very promising indeed.
Aribo recorded nine goals and eight assists in the 48 games he has featured for Rangers in the 2019/20 season and he has 2 goals in 4 games for Nigeria.