Leon Balogun signs for QPR
By Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor
Nigeria international Leon Balogun has signed a one-year deal with English Championship side Queens Park Rangers to finally end rumours linking him with a move to rejoining Rangers after he left Ibrox at the close of last season.
Reportedly, Balogun who has been on the lookout for a new club after his contract expired in Rangers, finally sealed to move to reunite with Michael Beale at Loftus Road Stadium.
Speaking after completing the deal, the 34-year-old said it was a huge relief to return to action and looks forward to his new challenge.
“It is a big relief to know I can get back to action and I am looking forward to it. We have been speaking for some weeks so I am happy we got it done,” Balogun said.
Balogun, who won the Scottish Cup and Scottish League during his two-year spell at Ibrox underlined that the influence of Beale convinced him to join QPR.
Beale had worked with Balogun as Steven Gerrard’s assistant when the White and Blues won the Scottish League title in the 2020-2021 season.
He continued: “The manager is one of the main factors for me. When he left Rangers I messaged him and said in terms of a football brain he is one of the best I have worked with.
“He is obsessed with football and what I always admire about him is the way he treated the players and the way he got ideas into your mind.
“I am more than delighted to work with him again and to be part of this project here, and hopefully leave a great mark,” Balogun added.
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Beale in his remark praised the 34-year-old whom he has been chasing all this while.
He noted that Balogun had offers from several clubs but QPR were lucky to secure the signature of the player who is one of the key figures in the Rangers’ squad.
“I am delighted with this one – I have been chasing him all summer,” the QPR boss said.
“He had a lot of offers so it is great we have been able to get him. He comes here on the back of two years at Rangers.
“He was absolutely fantastic in the season we won the league and last season he made 37 appearances in the team that won the Scottish Cup and reached the Europa League Final,” Beale added.
Balogun last season played 37 matches for Rangers who narrowly missed clinching the Europa League title against Eintracht Frankfurt at Seville and Beale was quick to highlight the Super Eagle’s outstanding qualities.
“He has got huge amounts of experience, has played in the Premier League and Bundesliga as well and I am delighted now with the strength we have defensively.” He said.
“I like the way he carries himself. He is a very special person in terms of his personality.
“He has got elite standards and I have seen that first hand,” he added.
Balogun spent most of his footballing career in Germany before switching to Brighton in 2018 through a free transfer and tested a four-month loan spell at Wigan in 2020, the same year he joined Rangers.
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