'Statement signing from Rangers' named by popular pundit but Joe Aribo fee a 'shock'

Following Saturday’s 2-0 win over Kilmarnock, Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst name checked Tom Lawrence for his role in the win.

The summer signing started on the left of an attacking trio behind Antonio Colak and went close to scoring with a dipping shot which hit the top of the bar.

Van Bronckhorst picked out the midfielder's ability of playing in the pockets.

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Lawrence was a free pick-up following his exit from Derby County and former Celtic midfielder and current Open Goal Broomhill boss Si Ferry believes he “is a statement signing from Rangers”.

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“He can play anywhere across the front three and is a great replacement for Joe Aribo," Ferry, host of the popular Open Goal podcast, told Grosvenor Sport.

“Seeing Rangers in Europe last year would've been a big pull. Players would've seen the atmosphere at Ibrox and looked at the calibre of the teams they beat last year and probably thought they were fed up with the Championship and wanted to play in European finals.

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“Rangers' European run has definitely allowed them to attract better players.”

Ferry, however, was left baffled by the £6million fee the club received from Southampton for Aribo.

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Tom Lawrence has been labelled a statement signing from Rangers. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

The Nigerian international left this summer in a deal which could eventually reach £10million.

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Aribo demonstrated his versatility and flexibility during his time at Ibrox, even performing the striker role in the absence of Alfredo Morelos and Kemar Roofe, scoring in the Europa League final.

“Joe Aribo's £6m fee was more of a shock for me," Ferry said. “He can run box-to-box, he's strong, can tackle and also score and create goals. But maybe, because he wasn't as effective in the last three months of his Rangers career as he was in the first six months of the season, the price tag came down a little bit.

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“Based on his quality alone I'd have been wanting a bit more than £6m but what Scottish clubs don't want is players running down their contracts and going for free so if there is a hint that Aribo is looking for a move away, it's so important that clubs do get a bit of money for them.”

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