BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Jonny Williams reckons it was “mad” that Joe Aribo was still playing League One football last season.
The 22-year-old Charlton midfielder, out of contract at the end of this month, has reportedly held talks with Rangers.
If Aribo was to move outside of England this summer it would mean compensation due to the Addicks would be cut dramatically.
He is understood to have interest from other Championship sides, at least one club in Germany and potentially even a Premier League opening.
Charlton have offered the Camberwell-born player a new contract.
But Williams says he can see similarities to when he was a Crystal Palace player and they had Wilfried Zaha turned heads.
Zaha was sold to Manchester United in January 2013 but spent the second half of that season on loan, starring as they beat Watford in the Championship play-off final.
“The Joe situation reminds me of the Wilf situation – he has helped his team get promoted,” said Williams.
“Joe is in a good position. He is a top player.
“I was surprised how good he was. It was a surprise – big time – for him to still be playing at that level.
“Sullay [Kaikai] told me how good he was. But to see it up close and personal on a daily basis, it was mad he was still playing at League One.
“I’m sure he’ll have teams queueing up.
“But more importantly, he is such a good kid. There is no ego with him at all – he just wanted the team to get promoted. I can remember him saying how nervous he gets before games – it genuinely means a lot to him to do well for the team and himself.
“I sent him a message to say it has been an absolute pleasure to play alongside him. He’s helped my game, the way he plays and the way we’ve linked up.”