Leon Balogun was substituted in the 70th minute against Ross County, leading many fans to wonder if the defender had picked up an injury.
With Filip Helander out until at least December and Niko Katic away to Hadjuk Split on loan, Rangers don’t want more defensive issues to jeopardise this at-the-moment shaky area of the team.
When asked about the sub Steven Gerrard responded: “Just protection,” as every Rangers fan breathes a collective sigh of relief.
Nathan Patterson then came on for the Nigerian to get some valuable minutes according to the Rangers manager.
“It also gave me an opportunity to give Nathan some minutes because he deserves it as well. That was the reason behind it really. Just protection. There is no issue,” said Gerrard.
With Patterson biding his time on the bench for his chance to come, he managed to get 20 minutes at left-back against Ross County. Although not his preferred position, it is all experience for the young right back.
When Leon Balogun signed in the summer of 2020, not many fans would have predicted that he would go on to be a key member of the side.
His current contract runs out in the summer and with him deputising for injured Swede Helander, Gerrard may find it hard to resist renewing his deal for another campaign.
Balogun now heads away on international duty for Nigeria in matches against Liberia and Cape Verde.
Let’s hope, for the sake of the side, the defender comes back injury-free and ready to carry on his sublime form.