Leon Balogun becomes second Rangers player to take aim at Michael Beale

Leon Balogun becomes second Rangers player to take aim at Michael Beale
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Leon Balogun of Rangers is challenged by Kenneth Vargas of Heart of Midlothian during the Viaplay Cup Semi Final match between Heart of Midlothian and Rangers at Hampden Park on November 05, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Born-again Rangers defender Leon Balogun has joined ex-Gers striker Antonio Colak and dropped a huge hint that former manager Michael Beale was the reason he wasn’t playing, and his absence from the squad had little to do with any injury.

The big Nigerian, who has been outstanding on his few appearances in Govan since returning in the summer, was speaking after the semi-final win over Hearts, and drops more than a subtle hint that his absences from the first team squad were down to selection and not injury.

He said:

“I am coming off the back of some quite tough weeks shall we say. I found myself out of the active squad, not the whole squad completely. So to come back from that I am just really, really grateful. I am so happy I was able to capitalise on my chance. I’m just looking forward.”

By saying ‘active’ squad and not the whole squad, it’s a massive statement that he was perfectly fit and able to play, but Beale wasn’t having it.

He went on:

“Of course, it was a predicament where you start to think. I’m a bit on the older side now, so I have seen pretty much everything. I did think, ‘okay, yeah, let’s see how this goes.’”

Balogun famously spoke to a podcast last summer year about his original exit from Rangers, and revealed it was actually Giovanni van Bronckhorst who let him go, and suggested former Sporting Director Ross Wilson had in fact tried to fight his case to hold onto him, but the former Dutch boss wasn’t having it.

So Balogun has previous for shedding light on misinformation about him and revealing the truth, and it seems like he wasn’t actually a signing Michael Beale particularly wanted or sanctioned, and it did indeed seemingly only take place in a panic due to misdiagnosis over namesake Leon King’s injury.

On Philippe Clement and indeed Beale he went on:

“He’s very demanding. If you look at his stature and his presence it’s different and that is not a dig at Mick Beale. They are just two completely different characters and he’s got everyone on their toes.”

We suspect it is Mr Balogun, and we don’t disagree one bit.

Hot on the heels of Antonio Colak, Balogun becomes the second player mistreated by Beale to gently take aim at the ex-manager.

Who next…

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