Noel Whelan was blown away by the performance of Leon Balogun in the Rangers win against Aberdeen and tipped him to make a big impact this summer.
The former Leeds United and Dons striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed the 32-year-old will go “from strength to strength” now after a “fantastic” debut.
The centre-half put in a Man of the Match performance alongside Connor Goldson just a week after he signed for the Gers from Wigan Athletic.
Leon Balogun made his full debut for Rangers FC today:
– 90 minutes played
– Clean sheet
– 100% ground duels won (3)
– 100% aerials won (6)
– 3 clearances
– 1 tackle completed
– 1 blocked shot
– 4 succ. long balls
– 1 chance created
– 2 fouls won
MOTM performance 👏🏽 pic.twitter.com/UFDfsATQL4
— Soar Super Eagles (@SSE_NGA) August 1, 2020
Balogun put pen to paper on a one-year deal at Ibrox but has the option of a further 12 months in his contract.
Whelan suggested that having such little time to prepare for his debut may have worked in the defender’s favour.
“He was fantastic,” he told Football Insider.
“Some people need a bit of time to adapt but he has come straight in and performed.
“Straight into a very good side as well but sometimes players prefer to be shoved in at the deep end. He did not have that much time to think about it.
“A superb performance but we thought he would give Rangers that anyway. I can only see him going from strength to strength now. Steven Gerrard would not have brought him in if he didn’t believe he would improve them.
“Hopefully this season there is a title race that goes long beyond Christmas.”
The Nigeria international was signed due to the long-term injury to Nikola Katic with the 23-year-old sidelined for up to nine months with an ACL problem.
Up next for Steven Gerrard’s side is a trip to Germany to face Bayer Leverkusen in the second leg of their Europa league clash.
The Gers must overturn a 3-1 deficit if they wish to progress to the quarter-finals.