THE numbers speak for themselves in the story of the season for Joe Aribo. In the coming weeks, they will do their own talking in a different manner.

An 11-month campaign – one of 70 matches and more than 5,500 minutes of football – has finally come to an end for Aribo. The effort for club and country has been remarkable but time will tell what colour of shirt he pulls on the next time he takes to the field and begins another quest for silverware and success.

On Monday afternoon, he was given a well-earned rest. Unsurprisingly, Aribo’s talent and influence were not required for Nigeria as the Super Eagles eased to a 10-0 victory over São Tomé and Príncipe.

Aribo was, therefore, able to watch the action from the bench as Ibrox team-mate Calvin Bassey helped Nigeria to a win that sees them sit top of Group A in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign.

After so much time on the park, it is ironic that a rare stint on the sidelines cost Aribo a unique honour. It does not diminish his longevity or his accomplishment this term, though.

His 70th outing of the campaign in the win over Sierra Leone last week proved to be his final one and he must now split the title of football’s marathon man with an unknown Guatemalan by the name of Stheven Robles.

Just hours after Aribo packed away his boots for the last time this season, Robles started for his country in a CONCACAF Nations League qualifier against the Dominican Republic. His 72 minutes on the field did not see him surpass Aribo in terms of game time, but it was enough to take him level with the playmaker on the list of appearances during a campaign that saw him turn out 58 times for Comunicaciones in his homeland.

The honour was shared. The individual plaudits that Aribo has collected have been well-earned, and so is the break that he is now enjoying ahead of what could be a summer of change on and off the park.

Aribo’s form in the first half of the campaign marked him out as the finest performer in Scotland. At that stage, he seemed destined to collect individual prizes come the end of the season and looked set to play an increasingly influential role in Rangers’ bid to retain their Premiership title and lift domestic and European honours.

Given the schedule and the weight of expectation on his shoulders, it was perhaps no surprise that his levels dipped and a frustrating AFCON campaign in January seemed to set Aribo back. It took him time to find his stride, but he would never hit the heights again, despite scoring in the Europa League final defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.

He was honest enough to acknowledge his drop in standards but he had the support network around him at Ibrox to help him through those difficult times. For a player that is still learning, the lessons will be invaluable.

Aribo credited the work of the sports science and medical staff at Rangers for helping him remain in the kind of physical shape that allowed him to go on and post such impressive numbers. There was no secret, but his ‘go to’ meal of pasta played a part.

Off the park, he had Giovanni van Bronckhorst to thank. The former Arsenal, Barcelona and Holland stalwart has seen and done it all in the game, and those insights into handling the highs and the lows became a valuable resource for Aribo to utilise.

He has been fortunate to have had Steven Gerrard and Van Bronckhorst to tap into for advice during his time at Ibrox. Aribo has a talent – both in terms of his speed of thought and grace of foot - that is natural but the mental side of the game is just as important and three seasons with Rangers have been hugely beneficial to his progress.

The moment may now have come, though, for Aribo to seek to take his game to the next level. If he chooses to move on, he will do so having created and left many memories.

In a post on his Twitter account on Wednesday, Aribo addressed his record-breaking campaign and looked ahead to the new season. Alongside the message, four pictures – three from Seville and one of him holding the Scottish Cup – summed up what has been a remarkable term for the 25-year-old.

“Grateful to have played 70 games this season,” Aribo wrote. “I just wanna thank God for getting me through it. A season full of ups and downs but unforgettable memories were created. Can’t wait to get going next season thank you to all the fans for your continued support.”

The post was signed off with a blue heart. Over the coming weeks, Aribo will have to determine if his Rangers love affair is to continue or come to an end.

Now in the final year of his Ibrox contract, Aribo has a decision to make. So, too, do Rangers and if there is any doubt over his long-term future beyond next summer then the time will come for the Londoner to return south of the border.

Aribo must either sign on or be sold off. He will not be short of suitors, and if Rangers can bank around £10million for a player who arrived on a Bosman from Charlton three years ago then a parting of the ways will have mutual benefits.

Aribo is far from the finished article but any clubs who put money on the table know they are buying a player with unbounded potential. In this 70-game season, he has proven his physical robustness and mental strength as well as his creative talents.

It will come down to the numbers once again. If Rangers get their fee and Aribo agrees his wages, then the time may well have come for a crack at the Premier League.

Such a challenge will test Aribo. On the back of this campaign, it is one he need not fear about rising to as Rangers’ marathon man prepares to take his next steps in the game.