Rangers have been dealt a major blow as Ibrox powerhouse Leon Balogun has suffered an injury setback…
Gio van Bronckhorst has confirmed that the defender will be watching on from home as they take on Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League.
He told the club’s official Twitter account: “Leon (Balogun) is not available for tomorrow, hopefully back next week.”
The central defender was forced off with an injury early on in the win over Hibernian last week and missed the clash with Annan Athletic in the Scottish Cup, with the head coach now revealing that he will be absent yet again.
Rangers fans will surely be gutted by this news as it is a huge blow for the club and for Balogun. The Scottish giants travel away to face German giants Dortmund in the knockout stages of the European competition tonight and will now do so without one of their top performers.
In the Europa League this season, no Rangers player has a higher average SofaScore rating (7.25) than the Nigerian international. Alfredo Morelos is second with 7.16 and the pair are two of only five players with a score higher than 6.95.
This suggests that the defender has been the club’s best player in Europe this term as he has the best individual statistics. Across his four appearances in the competition, he has made nine tackles, 14 interceptions and eight clearances, whilst also scoring one goal and completing 79% of his passes – as per SofaScore. He has been excellent at repelling opposition attacks and that could be crucial against a Dortmund side containing the likes of Julian Brandt and Marco Reus, among others.
Balogun has also been in fine form in the Premiership, averaging a SofaScore rating of 7.06 and making 3.3 tackles and interceptions per game. This shows how important he has been for the Gers domestically and in Europe this year as he has been able to consistently deliver superb displays at centre-back – making him a reliable player for the manager in terms of what he knows he will get from the former Wigan man on the pitch.
Therefore, fans will be gutted that he will now be unavailable to play against Dortmund as it will come as a huge blow to the team. His statistics in the Europa League prove that he will be a big loss tonight and supporters will be hoping that Calvin Bassey, Filip Helander or whoever else van Bronckhorst decides to go with alongside Connor Goldson is able to step up and put in a stoic showing.