Pundit View: Rangers set for ‘Huge Boost’ after Ibrox update – ‘It’s Crucial To Title Rice’

Noel Whelan has claimed Rangers will be handed a “huge boost” if Nigeria trio Joe Aribo, Leon Balogun, and Calvin Bassey can be available for the Old Firm clash on January 2nd.

The former Aberdeen striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the stars’ potential availability could be “crucial” for the Scottish Premiership title race.

According to the Daily Record (via Mailsport), Rangers are seeking permission for the Super Eagles trio to report for international duty after the game against Celtic.

FIFA rules currently stipulate that the Gers have to release their international stars on December 27th.

This means they would miss the match against the Hoops in the new year.

The 2021 African Cup of Nations takes place from 9 January – 6 February, meaning the Rangers stars could miss up to five matches.

Bassey is yet to make his first Nigeria appearance after being called up.

Aribo and Balogun are fully-fledged internationals with seven and 36 caps respectively.

Whelan suggested the Old Firm game is “crucial” for the Scottish Premiership title race.

“It’s a huge boost,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“When you sign these internationals, you are aware that they
will have to head off to the African Cup of Nations, but to have those sorts of
players available unexpectedly is crucial.

“Especially in such a pivotal game which could decide the

“I think if you asked any manager, they would be more than
happy for those players to be available for those games.

“Old Firm games are so important. We know how much the points are crucial to where the title ends up at the end of the season.”

This article was originally posted here

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