Rangers are enjoying an impressive 2021/22 campaign as they currently sit top of the Scottish Premiership table after 11 games.
The Gers have picked up 30 points from 13 games, winning nine, drawing three and losing one of their matches in the league to date.
Steven Gerrard’s side have not lost in the Premiership since the second match of the campaign and are currently on an unbeaten run of 11 matches, which they will be hoping to build on after the international break.
Whilst the attention may go towards the players who are scoring and assisting goals for Rangers to win matches in the Premiership, the defenders helping to keep the ball out at the other end deserve their fair share of the credit for the results on the pitch.
The likes of Ryan Kent, Alfredo Morelos, Fashion Sakala, Ianis Hagi, Joe Aribo and Kemar Roofe have all chipped in with goals and assists this season and could take the majority of the limelight, but one player who may not get the credit he deserves is centre-back Leon Balogun.
He has started 11 of the club’s 13 league games and been a brick wall at the heart of the defence, alongside Connor Goldson. The 33-year-old has been incredibly consistent and reliable despite his age, averaging a superb SofaScore rating of 7.05.
In those 11 games, he has won an impressive 85 individual duels, whilst also making 36 clearances, 15 interceptions and 20 tackles – per SofaScore. This shows that he has been outstanding at centre-back as he has helped Rangers to lead the Premiership table whilst making a high volume of defensive interventions during the games.
Last month, Gerrard hailed the Nigeria international when speaking about his injury situation. He told The Herald:
“We are hoping it is a little bit of tightness and we will know in the next 24 hours. I will certainly be praying tonight. He felt something in his hamstring. That’s what he came off with, but he wasn’t sure if he felt something or whether it was a bit of tightness.
“We will work that out in the next 24 hours and hopefully he will pull through because he is important for us. I thought his performance was top tonight as well.”
This highlights how highly rated he is inside the camp at Ibrox and the praise from wider angles could come if he continues this terrific run of form throughout the rest of the season.
He has been an unsung hero so far, but that could change if he is able to maintain his sublime performances and work his way into the Team of the Year at the end of the campaign.