A major boost has emerged on Rangers centre-back Leon Balogun, regarding when he will return to fitness at Ibrox.
Gers boss Gio van Bronckhorst has delivered an update on the defender by revealing when he will be back in training for the club.
He told the Scottish Sun: “Leon went to Germany for a couple of days but is back now. So hopefully this week he will start training again.”
The Dutchman also provided a snippet on Filip Helander, adding: “I don’t think we’re going to see Filip before the winter break.”
This news will surely leave Rangers fans feeling buzzing as the head coach’s comments appear to suggest that Balogun will be back in contention before the break. The defender’s last appearance came in the 3-1 defeat to Hibernian in the semi-final of the League Cup in November and that means that he has not played a single match since van Bronckhorst’s arrival.
He was in fine form under Steven Gerrard’s management, averaging an excellent SofaScore rating of 7.05 in the Scottish Premiership across 11 matches. The centre-back has won 64% of his duels in the campaign so far, making an impressive 3.2 tackles and interceptions per game in the league.
Last season, he averaged a score of 7.13 as he won 61% of his duels and made 2.6 tackles and interceptions per game for Rangers. This shows that he has maintained a consistently high level, both in terms of his average performances and his defensive strength, since the start of the 2020/21 campaign. He has shown that he has the quality to be a top player in the Premiership, which is why fans will be delighted by his return to training this week.
It will also come as a major boost to van Bronckhorst as it arms him with another excellent player to call upon at the back. His displays over the past 18 months show how good he can be for the club and that is why his return will benefit the Dutch head coach, who could now afford to hand Calvin Bassey or Connor Goldson a rest at the heart of the defence.
The only piece of news that Gers fans may not be best pleased with is the 46-year-old’s update on Helander. He appears set to come back into the fold towards the end of January or later, which means that it could be a while before he is seen out on the pitch again.