Rangers

It is vitally important Rangers secure Leon Balogun to a new contract and do not break up their incredible defence, according to Gabriel Agbonlahor.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Aston Villa and England striker suggested Steven Gerrard will add squad players but will not break up his first-choice backline.

Football Insider understands Balogun is set to extend his Rangers contract in the coming weeks ahead of his deal expiring at the end of the season.

The 32-year-old moved to Rangers from Wigan Athletic in the summer and has been a regular alongside Conor Goldson at the heart of Gerrard’s defence.

He has played 23 games across all competitions this season in which the Light Blues have kept 16 clean sheets.

A centre-back by trade, the Nigeria international has demonstrated his versatility in the last week by filling in for injured captain James Tavernier at right-back.

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Balogun replaced Tavernier in the Gers’ epic 4-3 win over Royal Antwerp in the Europa League and retained his place against Dundee United at the weekend.

Asked whether securing Balogun’s future should be a priority for Gerrard, Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “It’s vital to not split up the defensive part of the team.

“Steven Gerrard will be looking to add to that – maybe add a couple more squad players.

“But definitely he needs to keep the core of that team together.”

While consistently solid at the back, Balogun demonstrated his attacking ability against Dundee United at the weekend when he registered his second assist of the season.

His header fell perfectly into the path of Ryan Kent who volleyed home Rangers’ second goal in their 4-1 win.

In other news, Frank McAvennie is “sick” of Nicola Sturgeon after what she said about Rangers, she “hates football and drinking”.