‘A free transfer gem’ – Super Eagles star awash in fan adoration after announcing his departure

Much of Light Blue’s fan base was stunned by the Nigerian international defender’s classy farewell message.

Super Eagles centre-back Leon Balogun received a relentless stream of messages of goodwill from many Glasgow Rangers supporters who responded to his emotional farewell message with mixed reactions.

After two successful years at the club, Rangers decided it was time for Balogun to move on, turning down the chance to activate the one-year extension clause in his latest contract.

The Nigerian defender has played a crucial role in Gers’ success lately.

Balogun played his part as Rangers went unbeaten throughout the 2020-21 season en route to winning the club’s first Premiership title in nearly a decade.

The 2021-22 campaign has been even more eventful.

Balogun scored two important goals as Rangers qualified for the Europa League final, where they eventually fell on penalties to Eintracht Frankfurt.

The Light Blues also finished runners-up to Celtic in the league race, but Balogun enjoyed success when Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men lifted the Scottish Cup.

However, Rangers have decided that the 33-year-old’s adventure with the club is over.

Balogun took the news on the chin and penned a moving message adoring the “crazy and passionate” Rangers supporters.

Many fans on Twitter couldn’t hide their disgust at the club for letting the former Wigan Athletic ace leave so soon.

And many of them were generous with their kind words as they praised the veteran defender, who signed a free contract, for giving his best for their beloved club.

Former Super Eagles manager Augustine Eguavoen was among those wishing Balogun well in his future endeavours.

Balogun arrived at Rangers in July 2020 on a free transfer after taking spells at Wigan, Brighton, Mainz and Darmstadt 98, among several others.

Across all competitions, Balogun made 65 appearances for Rangers, scoring twice and assisting three more. He leaves two international teammates – midfielder Joe Aribo and youngster Calvin Bassey – at Rangers.

The veteran centre-half is now one of the best Nigerian footballers without a club at the moment.

Christy J. Olson