Rangers first-team star to miss African Cup of Nations and stay with Scottish champions

Rangers’ Joe Aribo will be the club’s sole representative in Cameroon for next month’s AFCON tournament.

Joe Aribo will be Rangers' sole representative in the Nigeria squad after Leon Balogun's injury update. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Joe Aribo will be Rangers' sole representative in the Nigeria squad after Leon Balogun's injury update. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The Nigerian midfielder will not be joined by either of his fellow countrymen, and Ibrox team-mates Calvin Bassey or Leon Balogun.

The defensive pair will stay with Rangers instead during the SPFL winter break.

Bassey, who was called up earlier this year but has yet to pick up an international cap, was not selected in the Super Eagles’ squad for the tournament despite a run of games and impressive performances under Steven Gerrard and Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

Leon Balogun has not shaken off his injury in time to make the AFCON squad. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Neither will Leon Balogun be making the trip. The defender was included in the original squad and was set to add to his 41-caps in the Cameroon competition where Nigeria are ranked 12/1 to win, seventh favourite behind the likes of Egypt, Ivory Coast and favourites Algeria.

However the hamstring injury that has kept Balogun out of van Bronckhorst’s team domestically, has also taken its toll on his international hopes.

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