Rangers re-sign defender Leon Balogun a year after Ibrox departure

It comes after Leon King suffered a serious ankle injury which will leave him out for a 'significant period'.

Rangers re-sign Leon Balogun a year after departure as Leon King ruled out by serious ankle injury SNS Group

Leon Balogun has returned to Rangers a year on from his Ibrox departure.

The 35-year-old defender becomes Michael Beale’s seventh summer signing as he re-joins the club on a one-year deal.

He left when his contract expired at the end of the 2021/22 season and will also now be reunited with Beale who was number two to Steven Gerrard when the Nigerian international was signed three-years ago.

The Rangers boss was also at QPR with the defender at the start of last season before making the move north to replace Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

The move comes after teenage defender Leon King suffered a serious ankle injury which will leave him out for a “significant period”.

Balogun had a strong couple of years at Ibrox between 2020-2022, making 65 appearances and contributing to the delivery of the Premiership title in 2021, the Scottish Cup in 2022 and the run to the Europa League final also in 2022.

He spent the last year at QPR, and also has Bundesliga pedigree having had spells with Hannover 96, Werder Bremen, Fortuna Dusseldorf and Mainz 05, as well as Premier League experience with Brighton and Hove Albion, where he made eight appearances in the English top-flight.

Balogun is excited to get going again at the Ibrox club.

He said: “I am just excited to be honest, it is still a bit unreal but it is very real, so I am just really really happy to be back at Rangers – it feels like coming home,”.

“Since I have left, I have always felt a lot of appreciation and love from friends I have made in Glasgow and around the club and now that I am back it is nice to say the least.

“I know second is no option, I know what people are going to say very quickly if we are not performing so it is time to get to work, put our best foot forward and make sure we get the results that we need.”

Manager Michael Beale has previously spoken of his desire to add experience to his squad.

He said: “Leon is a person that I have full trust in both as a footballer and a man.

“He is extremely well-liked by everyone inside the club, and we are very happy to have someone with his experience and leadership qualities re-joining our squad. Naturally he will integrate back into the club very quickly and he understands fully our way of working and style of play.

“As a free agent, we were able to move quickly so that he could join us here in Germany. It was really nice to see the reception he received from the players and staff on joining us here at the camp.”

Balogun, who has 46 international caps for Nigeria, made 16 appearances for QPR in the English Championship last season.

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