Glasgow Rangers must give Leon Balogun a new contract as soon as possible.
Speaking after last Saturday’s Scottish Premiership win over Celtic, Steven Gerrard has made it clear he wants to retain the services of the Rangers defender, who has been in such fine form since he first arrived at Ibrox from Wigan Athletic in the summer.
The Light Blues boss said: “Leon is someone we want to keep hold of. He knows that, he is performing ever so well. He signed a contract with an option of an extension and we want him to be here beyond this season.”
Originally signed to provide injury cover for Nikola Katic, the Nigerian centre-back has been nothing short of a revelation since joining from the Latics on a free last year, even going so far as to supplant Filip Helander in the starting line-up.
Whilst Rangers have relied on several free-scoring players like James Tavernier, Kemar Roofe and Ryan Kent to steer them to the summit of the Scottish Premiership, it is the unsung heroes who should not go unnoticed for their contributions to the team’s title charge.
Take Balogun, for example. Under Gerrard, the 32-year-old has made 18 appearances across all competitions, scoring his debut goal for the Gers in the 4-0 victory over Aberdeen. But that’s not all, as he is currently averaging at least one tackle, one interception and one clearance per game in the Premiership, via WhoScored.
The Rangers manager struggled to contain his glee after Balogun put in a solid defensive shift against Lech Poznan in the Europa League to help his side earn their second straight win in Group D. He said: “He is an international player, he is very quick, he has got a fantastic profile, a profile that we like in that area, and he has come in and settled in really quickly and put in some real consistent performances.”
Ever the consummate professional, his importance to Gerrard’s Gers cannot be underestimated as he has become a colossal at the back. It does beg the question what would Gerrard do without him, but Rangers fans may not have to wait too long to find out, as his current deal will run out at the end of this season. Unless of course Ross Wilson gets his act together and offers him a new contract.
AND in other news, Rangers must secure Allan Campbell as a Scott Arfield alternative…