By Kelham Hilton

25th Jul, 2020 | 10:00am

Naylor Exclusive: Rangers have landed top new signing who dazzled v Messi

New Rangers signing Leon Balogun has handled Lionel Messi with aplomb and can cope with the Ibrox pressure cooker.

That is according to respected journalist Andy Naylor, who covers Brighton for the Athletic and followed the centre-back closely during his two years at the Premier League club.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, Naylor explained how Rangers have signed a player in Balogun who fits the bill after racking up extensive experience in England and Germany as well as with the Nigeria national team.

The 32-year-old was signed on a free transfer yesterday two days after his six-month loan spell at Wigan Athletic came to an end.

He has moved to Ibrox after signing a one-year contract that includes the option of a further year.

“This is a guy who’s played in the Bundesliga, in the Premier League and internationally with experience against some top players,” Naylor told Football Insider.

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“I think Rangers are getting a pretty good signing from that point of view and from his point of view as well he’ll look it as a great move for him at the stage of his career. I don’t think he’ll be lacking motivation.

“There won’t be any problem for him from the point of view of not coping with the pressure. You’re looking at a player who has got a lot of experience playing for his country Nigeria. He actually signed for Brighton off the back of the 2018 World Cup in Russia where he was playing against the likes of Lionel Messi in a key game.

“He came to Brighton and came on against Manchester United for his debut and his full debut was against Liverpool at Anfield.

“So, you’re not talking about somebody who isn’t used to being involved in a high pressure environment. I don’t think that will be an issue at all.”

The German-born star has 32 times international caps for Nigeria, who he qualifies to play for through his father.

He joined Brighton in the summer of 2018 on a two-year deal but had been on the fringes of the team due to intensive centre-back competition.

In other news, a Rangers target who “scared” Kristoffer Ajer tells club he wants move after 7-figure bid.

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