Glasgow Rangers midfielder Joe Ayodele-Aribo is relishing his two-year old international experience with Nigeria’s senior national team.
Aribo, 25, has grown to be a mainstay in Gernot Rohr’s team ever since he made his debut in a friendly game against Ukraine in September 2019.
The midfielder is poised to start once again when the Super Eagles face Central African Republic in their World Cup qualifying clash in Lagos on Thursday.
Aribo spoke of his experience so far with the team exclusively to Fisayo Dairo, the Chief Football Writer at www.aclsports.com
“For me, I’m growing and I’m improving constantly every time I come (to Nigeria),” began the London-born player to www.aclsports.com
“You only get better with experience and that’s what I’m doing. The more I play, the more experience I’ll get and the more I understand the game and get better and improve so I’m really enjoying the (national team) experience.
Nigeria have six points from their first two matches in the group stage of qualifying for Qatar 2022. Same tally in their forthcoming games against Central African Republic can all but secure their progress to the final round of qualifying.
Aribo hopes his team can achieve it.
“That (six points) is what we hope for. We want to win every single game so we hope that we can get the result that we want and that’s six points and that’s what we’re looking for.”
To achieve what they are looking for, Nigeria must make do without three key players due to injury concerns. England based midfield trio Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo and Alex Iwobi are all ruled out of the two games.
Aribo believes their absence will be felt in the team but they have capable hands that can “get the job done” regardless.
“I mean they (Ndidi, Etebo and Iwobi) have a big impact to the team.
“They’re massive players, they’ve been here for a long time also so they’re really experienced on this path. But with our squad, we can go for it because we have a really good team so we should get the job done,” he said.
Nigeria vs Central African Republic is billed to kick off at 5pm Nigerian time on Thursday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.
Fisayo Dairo reporting from Lagos