Rangers fans have reacted after Leon Balogun announced on Twitter that he was leaving Glasgow for international duty with Nigeria.
The 32-year-old joined the Gers in July on an initial one-year deal following a stint with Wigan Athletic and he settled in quickly.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) July 24, 2020
He was thrown into the starting XI for the first Premiership game of the season against Aberdeen and impressed alongside Connor Goldson, as the Gers kept the first of many clean sheets.
Balogun was forced off due to injury at half-time in his third outing for the club against St Johnstone and just as he was primed to make a comeback against Dundee United in mid-September, a knock in the warm-up saw him miss out once again.
The 6ft 3″ centre-back finally returned to action off the bench against Motherwell last weekend, before playing the full 90 minutes in the 2-0 win over Ross County on Sunday.
It wasn’t a vintage display from Steven Gerrard’s side at Ibrox and Balogun admitted as much on Twitter on Monday morning, before looking ahead to international duty.
“Our performance definitely has to improve, but happy about the important 3 points and another clean sheet. Off to reunite with my Super Eagles now.”
Our performance definitely has to improve, but happy about important 3 points and another clean sheet.
Off to reunite with my Super Eagles now 🇳🇬🦅 pic.twitter.com/RiH2P53z0a
— Leon Balogun (@LeonBalogun) October 5, 2020
Nigeria are playing two friendlies in Austria over the next week against Algeria and Tunisia, and the Gers star will be looking to add to his 32 senior caps.
However, given his problems with injuries since his move to Ibrox, plenty of Bears are concerned about the potential for him to pick up a knock ahead of the Old Firm clash on 17 October.
Here’s a selection of reactions from Twitter:
Can’t be brilliant every game big man three points all that mattered yesterday. come back injury free 💙👍🏻
— gary mcdougall (@garymcdougall24) October 5, 2020
No injuries please pic.twitter.com/Fr6GERAIyD
— Wirral Ranger (@WirralRanger) October 5, 2020
Just come back without an injury mate. Big game in 2 weeks 🙌🏻🔴⚪️🔵
— Jason Smith (@JASON5485) October 5, 2020
Stay safe big man we need a full bill of health for Celtic 🔴⚪️🔵
— Billyboy (@Billybo58749296) October 5, 2020
Come back strong and ready to go again big guy 🔴⚪🔵
— Menzies (@menzies999) October 5, 2020
No injuries please👍👍💙
— 77kingj3 (@forrester_billy) October 5, 2020
At this stage, Filip Helander is the favourite to start alongside Goldson in the Old Firm.
Yet, with Nikola Katic sidelined by a long-term injury and George Edmundson short of game time, it’s important that Balogun now stays fit and available for selection at club level.