Rangers have made a surprise move by bringing back Leon Balogun to bolster their defensive ranks after young talent Leon King suffered a serious injury blow. The Scottish club revealed that the teenage center-back sustained an injury during their pre-season camp in Germany, which will require a significant recovery period. In response, manager Michael Beale has turned to Balogun to provide cover and reinforce their defensive options ahead of the upcoming season. The 35-year-old Nigerian international played a crucial role in Rangers’ successful Premiership title campaign in 2021 and also made valuable contributions during their memorable run to the Europa League final the following year under the guidance of Gio van Bronckhorst.
Balogun previously departed Ibrox to join QPR, where he was reunited with Beale, who was formerly Steven Gerrard’s assistant. Now, Balogun is set to return to Glasgow, with reports suggesting that he underwent medical tests in the city yesterday after becoming a free agent following the expiration of his one-year deal with QPR.
The timing of Balogun’s return is vital, as the Premiership season and Rangers’ opening Champions League qualifier are just three weeks away. With first-choice center-back Connor Goldson still some weeks away from full fitness, Beale is keen to ensure sufficient defensive cover. Currently, John Souttar and Ben Davies are the only experienced options in central defense, while summer signing Dujon Sterling is more comfortable playing at right-back but can also provide support in the middle.
The injury news comes as a significant setback for Leon King, who was looking to build on his impressive breakthrough season. The 19-year-old made 23 appearances last year, including six outings in the Champions League group stage. Rangers released a statement last night confirming King’s injury, with the club’s medical staff attending to him. King expressed his disappointment on Twitter, assuring everyone that he will come back stronger and expressing gratitude for the messages of support he received.