It is never easy for the newly promoted side to find their footing in the Premier League as there is an inevitable relegation scrap waiting to happen. Brighton and Hove Albion had their share of troubles last season after getting promoted from the Championship but at the end of the campaign, they were pretty safe.
The Seagulls mustered 40 points and finished at the 15th spot in the league standings. However, Chris Hughton’s side should strive to better their credentials amongst the elite clubs of English football next season. To do so, Hughton must make a good use of the summer transfer window. Apparently, he is all geared up to enhance the quality of his arsenal.
Brighton and Hove Albion have completed the signing of Leon Balogun from German Bundesliga outfit, Mainz, on a free transfer. Balogun has signed a two-year deal with the Premier League side and owing to his experience of having played in Germany’s top flight, Europa League as well as at international level with Nigeria, the central defender is a decent signing by the club.
What about Balogun?
Defensively, Brighton were not up to the mark last season. They conceded a lot of goals due to their own mistakes and failed to carve a proper sense of cohesion or resilience. Thus, shoring up the back line for the upcoming season will make a lot of sense.
The 29-year-old is a muscular and dominating central defender who is good at reading the attacking endeavours of the opposition. Besides, he tackles and intercepts well and is in the peak stage of his career.
He might not be a world-beater but he certainly has the ingredients to bring some freshness into Brighton and Hove Albion. In 14 Bundesliga outings this past season, Balogun made 2.8 tackles, 2.3 interceptions, 4.4 clearances and 0.6 blocks per game on an average. He is named in Nigeria’s provisional 30-man squad for the World Cup to be held in Russia after having helped them to qualify.
Hughton has the likes of Shane Duffy, Lewis Dunk, Gaetan Bong, Connor Goldson, Bruno, Liam Rosenior, Ezequiel Schelotto in his books for catering to his side’s central defensive needs and the addition of Balogun will bring more competition for a place in the starting line-up. He is versatile enough to operate anywhere across the back line, which should come handy.
Only time will tell what lies ahead of him at the Amex Stadium and whether he turns out to be a hit for his new club.
Statistics Credits: WhoScored