SUPER Eagles centreback Leon Balogun has committed himself to staying at Glasgow Rangers for at least another season after manager Steven Gerrard decided to extend his contract by another year.
Balogun, 32, joined Rangers on a one-year deal last July from English Premier League side Brighton with the Glasgow club having the option to extend his stay for a further year. Since moving to Scotland, the defender has been immense, establishing himself as one of the pillars of the team, alongside compatriot Joe Aribo.
Delighted with Balogun’s form, Gerrard has decided to exercise the option of retaining the player for at least another season. With Balogun helping Rangers win the league this year, Gerrard considers the Super Eagles international one of the club’s valuable assets.
Happy with life at the club Balogun has declared his intention to stay at Ibrox for at least another year. German-born Balogun added that for now, he intends to stay in Scotland and will consider returning to Germany at the end of his stay at Rangers.
Balogun said: “I was born in Berlin and if there were another opportunity for me at home or in Germany, it would be outstanding. With Rangers we are first looking at the Champions League, if we successfully qualify, so who wants to miss this?”
“When I stop playing football, I will return to Germany. If it happens before then, I don’t mind but my near future lies with the Rangers.”
He added that he is eagerly anticipating the experience of the Rangers fans in the stadium as his time with the club so far has been limited to behind closed doors games due to the coronavirus pandemic. A huge fans favourite, Balogun has not been able to savour the atmosphere of the stadium packed with the Rangers faithful.
“I will be so happy when fans are allowed to return to the stadium after the pandemic and I finally can get to know them really well. It’s very extreme in Glasgow because you can feel love on one side of the street and sheer hate on the other.
“The title was so special because the rivalry between us and the club on the other side of town is incredible. That tenth title that the club was aiming for was the big theme this season,” Balogun added.
Later this month, Balogun is expected to feature for Nigeria as the Super Eagles face Benin Republic and Lesotho in back-to-back African Nations Cup qualifiers on March 27 and 30. He is one of 24 players invited by head coach Gernot Rohr alongside team mate Aribo, Alex Iwobi of Everton, the Leicester City duo Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi, Semi Ajayi of WBA, Ola Aina of Fulham, William Ekong of Watford and Michael Olise of Reading.