SUPER EAGLES

Leon Balogun to play in Conte-like formation at Queens Park Rangers

Leon Balogun could be back to his best soon with QPR manager looking to change formations to favour the Super Eagles defender

Leon Balogun could play in a three-man defence at QPR

Super Eagles defender Leon Balogun could be set to feature in a new defensive set-up for his new club Queens Park Rangers (QPR) this season.

The 34-year-old centre-back moved to the Championship side on a one-year deal this summer transfer window to reunite with his former assistant coach at Rangers, Michael Beale.

Balogun is expected to bring immediate quality and experience to a relatively young QPR backline that has an average age of 23 years.

Beyond the top-level experience, Balogun is also set to give QPR manager Beale the opportunity to try out the possibility of playing with a back three.

Beale told westlondonsport in an interview that he wanted to try the new defence system during pre-season but the lack of adequate cover prevented him from doing so.

Beale explained: “I am delighted to have him as I wanted the option of playing with a back three or a back four. But I couldn’t practice playing with a back three as I had only three experienced centre-halves.

“If I had done that and one of Jimmy (Dunne) Rob (Dickie) or Jake (Clarke-Salter) got injured I would have spent the pre-season working on something I couldn’t use."

With the arrival of Balogun and his familiarity with the three-man defence formation having played in similar positions while at Rangers, Beale noted that he now has a more experienced option to try out the position with.

“So that was a good call as Jake got injured after the first game so I only had Jimmy and Rob and some young boys who are untested at Championship level behind them," Beale stated.

“I have only had Jimmy and Rob for the last six or seven games and, touch wood, we haven’t had a problem. But if we’d had, I’d be throwing in a very young centre-half into a team at the stage of the season where we haven’t settled down yet.”

Leon Balogun is yet to make his debut for Queens Park Rangers after being named on the bench for the first time in their home 3-1 victory over Hull City on Tuesday, August 30.

The Super Eagles star could get his first minutes when QPR travel to the Swansea.com Stadium for their Matchday 8 Championship fixture against Swansea City on Saturday, September 3.

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