Nigeria national team coach Gernot Rohr is hoping Leon Balogun and Joe Aribo will win the Scottish Premiership title with Rangers this season.
The Super Eagles stars have been playing a pivotal role for the Gers to help Steven Gerrard’s men open a 15-point gap at the top of the league table.
The Ibrox Stadium outfit narrowly missed out on the league title to Celtic last season and have recruited a number of players in their quest to clinch the coveted trophy this term, including signing Blalogun last summer.
Balogun and Aribo’s contributions have also helped Rangers to reach the Europa League round of 16 and Rohr hopes his Super Eagles stars can help the club win titles while also revealing he has been monitoring Calvin Bassey and Nnamdi Ofoborh’s development at the club.
“It would be great for our players - Balogun and Aribo - if Rangers won the title,” Rohr told Record Sport.
“We have been watching Rangers a lot and scouting all their games and there’s also Calvin Bassey and Nnamdi Ofoborh who is an Under-20 international who both have Nigerian roots so the challenge is there for them to join them.
“It is great that they are getting so much exposure and success at a club the size of Rangers and, as well as domestically, they have played at a very high level in Europe.
“I played a friendly in Glasgow with Bordeaux and it was a full house - even for a friendly game - so I have good memories and I’m delighted they are getting to experience that, although Leon hasn’t yet had the chance to play in front of the fans.
“I have known Balogun for a very long time. He has a German mentality and has good speed which is very important for a central defender or full-back as he can play both positions.
“There is no difference for Leon Balogun playing at right-back for Rangers just now because he’s played there before, for Nigeria and in Germany sometimes.
“He’s quick and intelligent and can change his position very quickly. For me, he’s strong enough to play either position. In the 2018 World Cup, he played at the right of a three-man central defence so is not quite a right back.
“I watched him playing in Germany for Mainz before I joined the Nigerian national team so I knew all about the boy. He was born in Germany and speaks German so we have a good relationship.
“Leon has a very good character and self-confidence and I was happy when he moved to Glasgow Rangers because he didn’t play enough in England.
“Leon is one of the leaders in my group and I’m happy he has had success in European competition with Rangers. He is also one of my vice-captains, we have a young team in Nigeria and he is an experienced player which is vital.
“I’m very satisfied with Leon and Joe, particularly with the attitude of them both.”
Aribo has made six appearances for the Nigeria national team since he made a goalscoring debut against Ukraine in 2019.
Rohr has highlighted some of the qualities of the 24-year-old and praised him for his contribution to the Super Eagles.
“Since I invited Joe Aribo to the squad we have had only good performances. He was, for us, an important player in the midfield with his left foot, mobility, commitment and fantastic mentality,” he continued.
“He can play as a defensive or offensive midfielder. Joe is good at pressing and immediately struck up a wonderful relationship with Alex Iwobi. “
“Joe scored in his first game for Nigeria against Ukraine in September 2019 and was one of the best players so we’re happy to see him in full flow and fitness for Rangers.”
Balogun and Aribo will be expected to feature when Rangers take on Livingston in their next league game on Wednesday.