Steven Gerrard has confirmed he wants to ensure in-form defender Leon Balogun remains a Rangers player past the end of the season.
Balogun, 32, joined the Light Blues on an initial one-year deal in the summer after he was released by Wigan.
When the Nigeria international arrived in Glasgow, it was confirmed that the Gers also have the option to extend his contract by a further 12 months.
Speaking ahead of Rangers’ trip to Pittodrie to play Aberdeen on Sunday, Gerrard said that “all contract chat will remain private between players at the club”.
However, he did drop a huge hint about the club extending Balogun’s contract.
“Leon Balogun is also someone we want to keep hold of,” said the Ibrox boss, as quoted by Rangers’ official Twitter account.
🎙️ SG: All contract chat will remain private between players and the club once they get up and running. At the right time, we will sit down with Allan McGregor and see what he wants to do in terms of his own future. Leon Balogun is also someone we want to keep hold off.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) January 8, 2021
The brick wall that is Leon Balogun
When Rangers signed Balogun in the summer, many would have assumed that he would be at Ibrox just to play a back-up role while Nikola Katic was injured.
However, the Nigerian has been one of the stand-out defenders for the Gers this season when he’s been called upon.
Filip Helander has dropped down the pecking order behind the ex-Brighton centre-back, who has made 18 appearances in all competitions this term.
According to stats by Wyscout, Balogun has completed 93.7 per cent of his passes in all competitions for Rangers this season. He has also won 67.8 per cent of aerial duels and 74.4 per cent of defensive duels.
On top of that, he’s averaged 5.28 interceptions, 12.49 recoveries and 3.61 clearances per 90 minutes in both domestic and European football this term.
Alongside Connor Goldson, Balogun has been a force to be reckoned with for opposition attackers.
Rangers have conceded just one goal in his 12 Premiership appearances. That says a lot about the defender who we hope is still at Ibrox next season.
In other Rangers news, Charlie Adam believes this senior player will exit the club this year.