Rangers news: Leon Balogun triggers new contract

Rangers star Connor Goldson

One of the pillars of Rangers' recent success, Leon Balogun has earned himself a new contract at Ibrox according to The Sun

What was his contract status? 

Upon joining the Glasgow giants from Wigan Athletic on a free transfer in July 2020, the defender signed a one-year deal with the option of a second should the club choose to invoke that clause. 

By making 23 appearances, the 32-year-old has activated that option and will now remain with the club until at least the summer of 2022. 

The agreement is reportedly likely to be confirmed after the international break as the defender is away on international duty with Nigeria. 

How impressive has Balogun been? 

A key member of Steven Gerrard's title-winning outfit this year, he has started fifteen games in the Scottish Premiership, filling in as both a central defender and a right-back at times. 

According to WhoScored data, the Nigerian international averages the highest number of interceptions per game (1.4) and is only beaten for aerial duels won over the same period by first-choice defenders Connor Goldson and Filip Helander. 

What has Alan Hutton said about the Rangers star?

Speaking to Football Insider back in August, Alan Hutton waxed lyrical about the summer signing and praised him for his performance during the win over Aberdeen in a sign of what was to come from Balogun. 

"I thought he was excellent. To come in after just signing, probably not knowing his teammates that well and put in a performance like that was outstanding.

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Let's start with an easy one. Which footballer do these eyes belong to?

“He came out with the ball and looked comfortable, every time he was asked to defend he did and I think Stevie Gerrard will be over the moon with his performance.

“It’s difficult to come into a team, especially a Rangers team with high pressure and put in a performance like that is really good.

“It looks like him and Connor Goldson have got a good partnership already and they’ve only played one game.”

Could he become more of a first-choice next season? 

At 32, Balogun clearly isn't a long-term prospect but his form has suggested he could step in were Helander - who the club are thought to value at £6m - leave this summer. 

Should Rangers look to sell the Sweden international, they do have an internal replacement clearly capable of partnering Goldson well, potentially allowing the club to use those funds elsewhere. 

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