Philippe Clement explains where Leon Balogun has been

Philippe Clement explains where Leon Balogun has been
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Leon Balogun of Rangers inspects the pitch prior to 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)

Philippe Clement has delivered what may be his first address on German-born Nigerian defender Leon Balogun, after a German journo from national broadcaster ARD asked for an update on Rangers’ trusty stopper.

Asked for his general view on the ex-Bremen man (who is very well-known back in his birthplace), Clement was very positive about him and explained where he’s been lately, and why he’s not been in the lineup.

He said:

“About Leon, I’m very happy about him. I didn’t have the chance (in) the last couple of weeks to put him more on the field because I had so much rotation to do with offensive players that were not ready for 90 minutes that I could not take centre backs in who maybe could play 70 or 80 minutes and then I had to change. I could not take risk with that.”

So in other words, he didn’t have enough subs to make those changes, and with subs these days being a maximum of five, and no issues with unfit defenders, Clement prioritised rotating strikers and wingers to get them minutes in their legs.

He went on:

“So he was unlucky in that way. But he’s been really good in the training. He’s been inspiring also for the young players in the building who are in the squad who come to train with us that he’s helping in a really good way so he’s been a really good asset for the club and I’m really happy with him.”

As we all know Connor Goldson is 100% immune, no matter how he plays, so let’s not go there. The bottom line is John Souttar has been superb in 2024, and there’s no scope really to rotate him, because that costs a sub up front, and with all the injuries up there and need to get players fit, Clement decided to prioritise that area for the subs.

Many would argue, rightly, that Balogun and Souttar are Rangers’ best defensive pairing, but Goldson will never be dropped under any manager at this club. So for now, Balogun is holding his head high and doing what he can for the club, while waiting for an opportunity to play again.

We do hope we get to see him again soon.

No posts to display