A Rangers development has emerged regarding Leon Balogun and his future in Glasgow heading into the summer transfer window…
The Light Blues have officially confirmed that the Nigeria international will not be signing an extension to his deal and has now left Ibrox.
The club tweeted: “Rangers can today confirm that @ and @ will depart the club following the expiration of their contracts. Everyone at Ibrox wishes Leon & Andy well for the next move in their career.”
This comes after Transfer account The 4th Official had claimed that the Gers centre-back “wants to stay” at Ibrox after his contract expired at the end of last month.
However, the club have decided that they do not want to renew his contract and he will now be a free agent as the window opens next Friday.
Gers supporters will be left gutted by this news, as they would surely have been keen for him to remain with the Premiership side for another term.
This is because Balogun has been a solid, reliable player for Gio van Bronckhorst to call upon whenever he is needed. He has proven himself in the Scottish top flight over the last two seasons and would have been an excellent option to have at the heart of the backline.
In the 2020/21 title-winning campaign, the centre-back averaged an excellent SofaScore rating of 7.13 as he made 19 appearances and won 61% of his individual duels. This shows that he contributed a great deal on the pitch as he played in half of the games and maintained a high standard in his performance levels.
He then made 21 outings in 2021/22 as he won 61% of his duels again, showing that he can win the majority of his physical battles in the Scottish top flight and is a consistent defender in one-on-ones.
At the age of 33, Balogun is unlikely to have been a go-to option who starts 50+ games in all competitions, but he could have been the player who comes in to cover for injuries and suspensions. With Rangers competing in the Premiership, Champions League, Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup next season, there will be plenty of minutes to spread around the squad.
Having a player with his experience and quality would have been crucial, as it would have allowed Connor Goldson, Calvin Bassey and John Souttar to rest when needed. Supporters may now fear potential burnout in their current options unless a replacement is brought in for Balogun.
For now, the fans will be gutted by his departure and will be hoping that he finds himself another great club at which to continue his career, outside of Scotland!