A relatively unknown Leon Balogun broke into the International scene in 2014,coming-on as a sub for Joseph Yobo in an international friendly against Mexico .
A freak injury caused by a collision(after 20 minutes) with the signage on the touch-line ended his engagement that fateful day. This unfortunate incident ended his 2014 WC ambition .
The introduction of Rohr as the Super Eagles Gaffer saw the emergence of Leon x Troost . The formidable defensive partnership birthed the phrase “Oyinbo Wall” by teeming Eagles fans .
Nigeria qualified for the WC with relative ease in a group that boast of Cameroon and the, then in-form Algeria. Balogun was impressive,not just for his defensive qualities but his ball-carrying and distribution skills .
His leadership qualities was evident as he organised and marshalled that Eagles defensive unit with aplomb.
So how did Leon Balogun end up on the fringe of the Eagles ? ?
After the 2018 WC in Russia Balogun moved to the English Premier League where he joined Brighton from Mainz .
This move excited Nigerians as it was an opportunity to see their boy play in a league that is watched by most people back home. There was always going to be a challenge? Dunk x Duffy!
Breaking into the Brighton team was subjected to injuries to either Dunk or Duffy! This development contributed to Balogun having a limited opportunity in the first team .
A meagre 8 appearances in two years adversely affected Leon’s performance. This led to him losing his place in the national team . A below par performance
against Cape Verde at the Afcon was the ice-breaker .
These days Balogun rarely gets invite to attend international engagements . The emergence of Semi Ajayi has dealt his national team inclusion a further blow.
So what next for Leon Balogun?
At the age of 31 ,Balogun still has so much to offer the game and of course the national team(even as a squad member). It is apparent the lack of game time at Brighton has dropped his form .
The winter window is the perfect opportunity for Leon to make a club switch . Joining a team that’ll give him consistent and quality game time ,is the only way Leon can get back to the level we all know he belongs.
Will he make that switch ??
Guess only time will tell .