Scottish giants, Rangers have confirmed the departure of Nigerian defender Leon Balogun from the club following the expiration of his contract.
How Leon Balogun’s unceremonious Rangers exit affects his place in the Super Eagles
Super Eagles defender Leon Balogun is now a free agent following the expiration of his contract with Rangers.
The 33-year old joined on a two-year deal from Wigan back in 2022 and the club has opted to not extend the contract.
This means Leon Balogun has officially become a free agent and can negotiate with interested clubs without a transfer fee.
But there is another angle worth considering which is how does this affect the Super Eagles for whom Leon Balogun is a regular when available for selection?
Rangers and the Super Eagles
Leon Balogun was a part of the Nigerian core at Rangers including Calvin Bassey and Joe Aribo who make up the rest of the trio.
Playing for the Scottish champions (until Celtics reclaimed the crown recently) really helped Leon Balogun’s case for continued inclusion in the national team.
The centre-back played 37 games for Rangers in all competitions in the 2021/22 season which somewhat fueled the notion that he was still good enough for the national team despite being in obvious decline.
Now that Balogun no longer has the Rangers’ clout, it might be time to properly reevaluate his relevance to the Super Eagles.
What’s next for Leon Balogun
It is unclear where Balogun’s next destination is, not many clubs have been linked with the Nigerian so far.
But it is almost certain that wherever he goes (most likely outside Europe) will be a downgrade on Rangers.
And therein lies the point, if the player has gotten to the point in his career where he can no longer draw interest from decent clubs, why should the Super Eagles still want him?
Balogun has been a wonderful servant to the Super Eagles, registering 45 caps since making his debut in 2014, his quality is undeniable and the country thanks him for his service.
But time waits for no one and neither should the Super Eagles of Nigeria which is why the team has to be intentional about moving on from Leon Balogun.