Former Celtic and Brighton & Hove Albion defender Adam Virgo has praised Rangers manager Steven Gerrard for making Leon Balogun perform at his best.
The 32-year-old has been a key player in the Gers’ defensive set-up this season with 28 appearances across all competitions which include 19 games in the Premiership.
Balogun joined Rangers last July following Wigan Athletic’s relegation to the League One, and his contributions have helped him secure the first major title of his career with the Gers who have been crowned champions of the Scottish top-flight.
In his assessment of Balogun’s impact so far, Virgo highlighted how the Nigeria international has fought for a place in Gerrard’s team after struggles in the Premier League with Brighton and how he is helping younger players with his presence.
“I wouldn’t say Rangers took a punt on Leon Balogun because he’s an international who moved to an English Premier League side but he wasn’t a high profile signing,” the 38-year-old told Daily Record.
“That’s where Steven Gerrard and Gary McAllister deserve huge credit because Rangers have been outstanding defensively and it’s testament to them as a coaching staff as that wasn’t their side of the game as players.
“But when you’ve got players like Alfredo Morelos in your side who can score then the defensive side wins you the league and this season, they’ve won some tight games where they’ve had to really stick in and keep those clean sheets and Leon has been a big part of that.
“Credit to him because he must have taken a big knock being released from Brighton to Wigan in League One and now to have a Scottish Premiership winners’ medal.
“And it’s not like he’s been a bit-part player. He had decent run in the Europa League games where Rangers had a strong run and you can clearly see Steven Gerrard has got the best out of him.
“He’s 32 and helps with the younger players as well so I’m sure Nathan Patterson will be learning from him even though Leon isn’t a natural right back.”