Balogun doubtful for Rangers clash against Livingston - Gerrard


Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has revealed Leon Balogun remains a doubt for his side’s Scottish Premiership game against Livingston on Wednesday.   

The centre-back only played for 26 minutes before he was replaced by Nathan Patterson in his side’s Europa League game against Royal Antwerp on Thursday due to injury.

Gerrard has now confirmed the Nigeria international suffered a knock in the encounter and will be further assessed to ascertain his availability for his side’s game against the Lions.

“Leon Balogun has a quad issue so will be a doubt for tomorrow,” Gerrard said in a pre-match press conference.

Balogun has made 24 appearances across all competitions this season since teaming up with the Ibrox Stadium outfit after leaving Wigan Athletic. 

His effort has contributed to his side’s impressive form which has helped the Gers open a 15-point gap at the top of the Premiership table. 

Besides his solid displays in his centre-back role, Balogun has also featured in full-back to ensure the club continues with their fine run of form.

Nigeria national team coach Gernot Rohr has already praised the defender for his versatility and quality for both club and country.

“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,” Rohr said.

“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.

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“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 not quite a right back.

Balogun has made 32 appearances for the Nigeria national team since making his debut for the West African side in 2014

The German-born defender will be expected to be part of Rohr’s side that will take on the Republic of Benin and Lesotho in the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in March.