Why Rangers signing Leon Balogun is a smart move
According to Daily Record, Rangers have agreed to sign defender Leon Balogun from Brighton and Hove Albion on a two-year deal.
Balogun, 32, came through the ranks of Hertha Berlin and Hertha 03 Zehlendorf and played for several clubs in Germany before joining Mainz in the summer of 2015. After making 58 appearances in three years for the Bundesliga outfit, he was signed by Brighton on a free transfer.
The Nigerian couldn’t make his mark in the Premier League and was sent on loan to Wigan Athletic last January. At the DW Stadium, he managed to feature in 11 league games and returned to the South Coast after the Latics were relegated. However, with his contract coming to an end, he has been signed for free by the Gers, as per the report.
Balogun could add depth to Rangers’ defence
After losing out on the league title to bitter-rivals Celtic, Rangers have started their pre-season campaign in a bid to get ready to stop the Hoops from the 10th title in a row. However, Gers boss Steven Gerrard has been active in the transfer window and had previously made two signings to strengthen the squad.
Calvin Bassey was signed from Leicester City and Ianis Hagi’s move was made permanent last month. But they did have limitations in their backline. Croatian international Nikola Katic has been injured and is set to remain on the sidelines for a longer spell. And this left the Gers with just three centre-backs in Connor Goldson, Filip Helander and George Edmundson.
While Goldson has featured regularly in the 2019/20 campaign, Helander and Edmundson missed the majority of the season. They had featured in just 7 and 8 league games respectively. Thus, a centre-back is needed, as nothing can be said of the existing players’ consistency.
In that regard, having signed Balogun is the right step by the club. The former Nigerian international may not be one of the best in his position but he could definitely add depth to Rangers defence, especially because of Katic’s injury. He has done a decent job in the 11 games he featured for Wigan in the last few months and could be a crucial player for the Gers next season.
His inclusion would definitely bring healthy competition to the squad. And this could turn in favour of the Gers, who, apart from Goldson, don’t have any preferred centre-back.
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With Katic injured and the lack of quality at the back, Rangers were in dire need of centre-backs. Thus, signing Balogun is a wise move by the club as he is capable of providing them with some much-needed depth and can be used until the return of the Croatian.