Joe Aribo will be key to Southampton’s Premier League survival

Published: July 09, 2024
Joe Aribo will be key to Southampton’s Premier League survival

The approaching end of EURO 2024 means that the world's attention will fall once again on the goings-on of the English top flight.

EURO 2024 ends and the Premier League begins 

It has of course been a memorable summer in Germany and even with a handful of fixtures left, picking a winner of EURO 2024 looks impossible. This is why the majority of EUROs bets placed have instead focused on the winner of the Golden Boot. 

Indeed, the EURO 2024 Golden Boot winner odds price Cody Gakpo as the clear favorite to win the prize at +140.

While a smattering of the greatest players in Europe continue to battle it out for top honors on the continent, most other professionals have already returned to their clubs to begin preparations for the new Premier League season. Nigeria’s Joe Aribo is one of them.

A new objective 

Preseason is underway at Southampton’s Staplewood Training Ground as the Saints get ready for a return to the Premier League. Intriguingly, there is a marked difference from the celebratory mood that the club’s players were in at the end of last season’s marathon campaign when they achieved promotion under the Wembley arch

Now, the focus has shifted to survival which means the pressure on the players has been ramped up dramatically; the Saints are now back to being a small fish in a big pond.

It is a change of status that Aribo welcomes with the midfielder determined to prove his worth in the Premier League at the second time of asking. Aribo’s first season with Southampton ended in relegation, the 27-year-old made 21 appearances and scored two goals in that fateful campaign. 

Now, returning to do battle with some of the best players on the planet is a challenge that Aribo relishes. Aribo’s can-do attitude will be music to the ears of manager Russell Martin who needs the Nigerian to be at his dynamic best if the Saints are to finish above 18th place and avoid relegation. 

As things stand, the bookmakers make Southampton the favorites behind only Ipswich Town and Leicester for an immediate return to the Championship at odds of +138. 

It will, in all likelihood, be a backs-to-the-wall season for Southampton but Aribo’s calming presence in midfield will go a long way in ensuring that the club climbs towards the much-spoken-about 40-point mark.  


Southampton's beating heart 

With his sixth sense for where dangerous attacks will build from and his sensible distribution that gets Southampton moving in the right direction, the Saints have a player who has the skills to ensure they use the ball productively. 

This is exactly what Martin will ask of his charges as the Southampton manager demands his players dominate the possession stats. The St Mary's outfit were able to do this successfully in the Championship as they ended the season with an average of 66.1 percent possession; the highest of any club in the Championship over 46 games.

Aribo was at the heart of everything Southampton did with the ball during their promotion season and will be again, only this time the opposition will be the best in the world.  If the Nigerian succeeds, so will Southampton.

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