While Calvin Bassey has emerged as a serious player this season, impressing all of us considerably, the more established Leon Balogun has to be the absolute pick of the backline, ever since that Celtic performance at RB demonstrated the quality he really has.
Since that monumental display, which owned both Kyogo and Edouard, Balogun has discovered a new-found respect from Rangers fans, translating that form into his more conventional CB slot, and being by a distance Rangers’ most consistent defender.
His numbers in recent times have been extremely impressive.
Versus Dundee, albeit the opponents weren’t supposed to have as good a day as they ended up with, Balogun’s clearances were bettered only by specialist Connor Goldson, with 3, and he made more telling interceptions than anyone else on the pitch aside Ryan Sweeney. He also got at least one crucial clean tackle in as well. His passing accuracy was also outstanding, over 91%.
Balogun’s experience is really starting to tell – while Goldson himself is not in the best form, Balogun is easily in his best since joining, and he’s beginning to look like, in current displays at least, the best stopper in the SPL.
And that’s what a good run of games can do, what one stellar performance can bring. Look at Borna Barisic and ‘that’ goal v St Mirren. He never looked back after that, and for Balogun it was Celtic.
It’s also worth noting that’s two domestic matches in a row without a goal conceded, both of which featured Balogun at the back, following the hapless Jack Simpson v Motherwell.
While Rangers haven’t had their defensive issues to seek, the big Nigerian definitely hasn’t been part of the frailties, and things look a bit more secure when he’s around.
Let’s try and keep him fit.