Leon Balogun has been drafted in to play at right-back for the last few matches with Rangers captain James Tavernier suffering an injury.

Nathan Patterson’s period in self-isolation after breaking COVID protocol meant that Gerrard had no natural right-backs to choose from in his starting line-ups versus Dundee United and both Europa League legs versus Antwerp.

While Balogun did well against Antwerp in Belgium after replacing the injured Tavernier and against United at the weekend, he had an absolute horror show of a performance in the second leg of the Europa League tie at Ibrox on Thursday night.


Balogun lasted just 45 minutes before he was substituted off by Steven Gerrard at half-time with COVID rulebreaker Patterson coming off the bench to replace him.

It must have been a tough decision by Gerrard to play someone who was being criticised from all angles after it was confirmed he broke COVID protocol.

But Balogun’s woeful first-half display must have been enough for Gerrard’s hand to be forced.

According to stats by Wyscout, Balogun won just 63 per cent of defensive duels in the first half against Antwerp, which is down on his season average of 75 per cent.


He also failed to make any interceptions or clearances and made just two recoveries when his average per 90 minutes this term is 12.02.

Balogun was completely turned inside out by Antwerp wide man Jordan Lukaku for their goal in the first half too and was also found out another point later on in the half when he was completely beaten by the pace of the away side’s attackers.

We feel a bit for Balogun because he was played outside of his comfort zone against Antwerp on Thursday but he did show in the first leg, and against Dundee United, that he can do a job there.

With Patterson impressing off the bench, it’s possible he’ll start at right-back until Tavernier is back or he’s hit with a ban for his off-field antics.

Either way, it would be a risk to play Balogun there any more based on his shocker this week.

In other Rangers news, Michael Stewart reacted to Patterson’s involvement on Thursday.


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