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‘I’m happy’: International coach delighted that ‘quick and intelligent’ player opted for Rangers move

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Rangers

‘I’m happy’: International coach delighted that ‘quick and intelligent’ player opted for Rangers move

Glasgow Rangers defender Leon Balogun has been a success for Steven Gerrard’s side since joining the Ibrox outfit last summer.

The Gers boss signed Balogun on a free transfer on a one-year deal with the option of another year, and he has made 24 appearances to date.

For most of the season so far, Gerrard has been alternating between Balogun and Filip Helander in the back four to partner Connor Goldson.

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More recently, the 32-year-old has been covering at right-back in the absence of Rangers captain James Tavernier.

And Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr says Balogun won’t be fazed by playing at right-back having often been deployed there for Nigeria and early in his career in Germany.

“I have known Balogun for a very long time,” Rohr told the Daily Record.

“He has a German mentality and has good speed which is very important for a central defender or full back as he can play both positions.

 

“There is no difference for Leon Balogun playing at right back for Rangers just now because he’s played there before, for Nigeria and in Germany sometimes.

“He’s quick and intelligent and can change his position very quickly. For me, he’s strong enough to play either position.

“In the 2018 World Cup he played at the right of a three-man central defence so not quite a right back.

“I watched him playing in Germany for Mainz before I joined the Nigerian national team so I knew all about the boy.

“He was born in Germany and speaks German so we have a good relationship.

“Leon has a very good character and self confidence and I was happy when he moved to Glasgow Rangers because he didn’t play enough in England.

“Leon is one of the leaders in my group and I’m happy he has had success in European competition with Rangers.

“He is also one of my vice captains, we have a young team in Nigeria and he is an experienced player which is vital.”

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Balogun was brought in as cover for the injured Nikola Katic and it’s safe to say he has done superbly for Rangers, one of many players who have impressed this season in pursuit of silverware.

However, he is a doubt for Wednesday’s game with a quad issue, so it looks as though it’ll be Nathan Patterson’s chance to step up on the right.

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