QPR Sign Super Eagles Defender Leon Balogun On One-year Deal
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By Amaechi Agbo
Super Eagles defender, Leon Balogun has signed a one-year contract with English Championship side, Queens Park Rangers
Balogun became a free agent after his former club, Rangers of Scotland opted not to renew his contract with them at the end of last season.
Balogun, 34, worked with R’s head coach Mick Beale at Ibrox and he is excited to be teaming up with him once again.
Balogun told the QPR website that he’s an aggressive fighter and is delighted to be back into action again.
“It is a big relief to know I can get back to action and I am looking forward to it. We have been speaking for some weeks so I am happy we got it done.
“The manager is one of the main factors for me. When he left Rangers I messaged him and said in terms of a football brain he is one of the best I have worked with,” he said.
During their time together north of the border, Rangers won the Scottish Premiership for the first time in 10 years, ending their league campaign undefeated with a club record 102 points.
“He is obsessed with football and what I always admire about him is the way he treated the players, and the way he got ideas into your mind,” Balogun added.
“I am more than delighted to work with him again and to be part of this project here, and hopefully leave a great mark.”
Balogun is looking forward to returning to England. Describing himself as a player, he explained: “I am quite aggressive, I am a fighter and I think I can read the game quite well.
“Overall, loads comes from my mentality and work ethic – never to give up and really work hard for the things you strive for.”
Balogun hasn’t played since leaving Rangers at the end of last season but he is confident he can get up to speed quickly as he looks to get his career in W12 up and running.
“I have managed to keep myself fit,” he said. “I haven’t been able to have team training so that is what I will try to catch up with as quickly as possible.
“The foundation of my fitness is there so it really shouldn’t take me long.”
Beale is excited by his sixth signing of the summer and revealed he has been keen on Balogun for some time.
“I am delighted with this one – I have been chasing him all summer,” he said.
“He had a lot of offers so it is great we have been able to get him. He comes here on the back of two years at Rangers. He was absolutely fantastic in the season we won the league and last season he made 37 appearances in the team that won the Scottish Cup and reached the Europa League Final.
“He has got huge amounts of experience, has played in the Premier League and Bundesliga as well and I am delighted now with the strength we have defensively.”
Beale admits Balogun’s character off the pitch was also a big attraction, explaining: “I like the way he carries himself. He is a very special person in terms of his personality.
“He has got elite standards and I have seen that first hand.”