Leon Balogun has given the strongest hint yet that a new Rangers contract is in the offing as the experienced defender expressed his love for the club.
After joining from Wigan Athletic in the summer Balogun has asserted himself as a key member of Steven Gerrard’s squad that is sweeping all before them in Scotland, making 23 appearances so far for the Light Blue as they chase domestic and European glory.
Despite Jack Simpson’s deadline-day arrival adding to an already strong pool of central defenders at the club it looks like the Gers gaffer is keen to hold for Balogun to extend his Ibrox stay beyond the June expiry of his current £12,500 per week deal and recent comments suggest this is a strong possibility.
As reported by the Glasgow Times website Balogun said: “I am playing for an amazing club. This season so far has been going really well for me. So, yeah, I just hope it keeps going, I hope I can keep the momentum going and we can then at one point announce that we pulled the trigger.
“Obviously it is under some confidentiality. But it is getting closer and closer. Let’s just say I am quite confident that my time with Rangers is not over after this season.”
His efforts have helped Rangers to a seemingly unassailable 15 point gap at the top of the Scottish Premiership with his rock-solid defensive displays contributing to a Rangers rearguard that has been breached on just eight occasions in 29 league outings so far.
Providing key cover in problem position
Thursday night’s Europa League clash at Royal Antwerp once again proved the value of Balogun as he seamlessly slotted into right-back to cover for the stricken James Tavernier.
The Rangers captain suffered a nasty-looking injury midway through the first half in Belgium and with no recognisable right-back on the bench it fell to the Nigeria international to step up and assume an unfamiliar role.
It cannot have been easy for Balogun to shake off the disappointment of being snubbed for the starting XI with Filip Helander preferred at centre-back but he did not let that get in the way of an assured performance in the Gers backline.
He might have to continue in this position for a little while yet depending on the severity of Tavernier’s injury and on the basis of Thursday this will not phase the 32-year-old.
In other Rangers news, see which Gers ace caught our eye in a breathtaking all-action display v Antwerp.