Rangers officially announced the signing of Leon Balogun on Friday afternoon [Rangers.co.uk] and his arrival at Ibrox should allow impressive youngster Lewis Mayo to head out on loan.

32-year-old Balogun has been brought in to provide another option at the back for Steven Gerrard.

Nikola Katic is out for the foreseeable future with a serious knee injury and Filip Helander has missed much of pre-season with niggles, so it’s a signing that makes sense.

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The Nigeria international is fit and ready to go, having turned out for Wigan Athletic in the Championship as recently as Wednesday night, and he will compete initially with Connor Goldson and George Edmundson for a place in the side.

Some supporters may be a little disappointed that more faith isn’t being shown in young Lewis Mayo.

 

The 20-year-old centre-back has featured throughout pre-season and impressed off the bench against Lyon, keeping the likes of Memphis Depay at bay to help close out a clean sheet.

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However, in the long run this is likely to prove to be a positive for the Academy graduate.

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Mayo scoring for Rangers in a friendly against Oxford United in 2019. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

If he is kept on as part of the squad, Mayo would almost certainly spend the vast majority of his time on the bench, watching the more senior centre-backs be picked in the starting XI each week.

Only a spate of injuries would bring him into contention for important Premiership matches.

By comparison, regular playing time out on loan would be much more beneficial for his development.

The Scotland youth international saw his first loan stint at Partick Thistle ended abruptly amid the global health crisis but now there’s a chance to go and spend a whole campaign elsewhere building up experience.

A move to another Scottish Premiership club would be ideal and if he impresses, perhaps he could return to challenge for a starting berth during the 2021/22 season.

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