Leon Balogun has raved about the next level standards at Rangers and believes he’s ready for the sizeable demands that will be placed on him as a player, as quoted by the Glasgow Times.
The centre-back joined the club late last month on a free transfer following the expiration of his deal at Wigan Athletic.
A Nigeria international who has previously played in both the Bundesliga and the Premier League, Balogun brings a lot of experience to the squad and has strengthened Steven Gerrard’s defensive options.
The 32-year-old was thrown in at the deep end with a start at Aberdeen on the first day of the season but he put in a strong debut performance and could be named in the XI again for Sunday’s fixture against St Mirren.
He’s loving the experience so far and the increased pressure of being at such a big club.
“It’s a different demand, a different mindset around everybody at the club actually,” Balogun said, as quoted by the Glasgow Times. “It’s about how you train, your performance in training, the statistics in training. The professionalism – and I’ve been at a few clubs – is on another level and I’m really, really enjoying it.”
“There’s a competitiveness in every aspect of the club and that helps you to keep on top of your game. You can never rest, you can never switch off. If you do, you’re in trouble.
“It was something that stood out to me at first. I’ve never had it like that before. So it’s a new challenge and I’ve always liked challenges.”
Balogun up for the fight at Rangers – Verdict
It will be a great source of encouragement for Gers fans that Balogun already understands the levels that are required at the club.
The 6ft 3″ defender hasn’t played a big volume of matches in recent seasons, but with Werder Bremen, Hannover, Mainz and Brighton amongst his former clubs, he boasts a decent CV.
He arrived in Glasgow following a short but impressive stint with Wigan and carried his good form into his Rangers debut at Pittodrie, defending stoutly and looking confident on the ball.
After Filip Helander’s impressive showing in Leverkusen on Thursday, though, he’ll know he can’t afford to rest on his laurels.
Therefore, if he gets another opportunity against St Mirren this weekend, he’ll need to shine once more.
While you’re here, why not check out our Predicted XI for Sunday’s match.