Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard was forced to throw Nigerian international midfielder Joe Aribo in at left-back for last night’s win over Livingston – and the Ibrox boss was left purring over a performance “as good as [he’s] seen in the three years” he’s been in Glasgow.

Injury to Borna Barisic and suspension to Calvin Bassey left the Gers short of cover, forcing Aribo to fill in as a temporary left-back alongside Jack Simpson, Connor Goldson and James Tavernier and earning Gerrard’s nod as man of the match.

“What can I say about Joe Aribo? I’ll tell you what I’ll say about him. Good players can play football, top players can play anywhere on the football pitch,” Gerrard gushed to Rangers TV.

“A manager can ask a player to play a role and good players can do some and can’t do some, but Joe Aribo is a top player so whatever I ask him to do he goes and gives it his best shot.

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“He’s my man of the match tonight, just because if you think about it, he’s a No. 10 and he’s just been so comfortable at left back and cruised it and breezed it.

“That left back performance is as good as I’ve seen in the three years I’ve been here. Well done to him for parking his ego and doing a fantastic job for his team-mates.”

Aribo has made 41 appearances for Steven Gerrard’s side this season, scoring eight times and chipping in with eight assists in the push to the title.

His versatility has seen him deployed in a number of rules for the Light Blues, including right wing and central midfield.

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Aribo may have to reprise his role in defence on Saturday when Aberdeen visit Ibrox but Gerrard will undoubtedly be feeling far more comfortable with the Nigerian in defence.

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