Leon Balogun joins English Premier League club Brighton and Hove Albion

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The Nigeria international becomes the first player to join the Seagulls this summer, bringing an end to his nine-year stint in the German league

Brighton and Hove Albion have completed the signing of Leon Balogun on a free transfer.

The Super Eagles centre-back joins the Falmer Stadium outfit on a two-year deal after departing Mainz 05 at the end of the season.

Balogun will join Cameroon’s Gaetan Bong in Brighton's books for the 2018-19 season.

And manager Chris Hughton has expressed excitement with the options and experience the defender brings to his team.

“I am delighted to welcome Leon to the club. He will add more depth to our defensive options, and I am pleased to get our first piece of business done so early in the summer,” Hughton told club website.

“He is in the peak years of his career and I am sure he will integrate well into the squad.

“He also has valuable experience, having played in the Bundesliga, the Europa League and at international level.”

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The German-born defender started his career at Hannover 96 before turning out for Werder Bremen, Fortuna Düsseldorf, Darmstadt 98 and Mainz 05.

Balogun is expected to play a part in Nigeria's campaign at the 2018 Fifa World Cup following his inclusion in the country’s 30-man provisional squad.

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