After having a strange season in the English football, Nigeria’s Super Eagles defender Leon Balogun has departed English premier league side Brighton Hove Albion, OJB Sport reports.
Balogun switched to English side Brighton in 2018, just before the world cup after he left German Bundesliga side Mainz 05 at the expiration of his contract .
Injury hampered his progress in first season with club and he decided to go on loan in the second season after he failed to command a regular playing time.
He went out on loan to championship side Wigan Athletic during winter transfer window in January where he played 9 matches for the team.
He announced his departure from Brighton Hove Albion through his social media handle and appreciate everyone that make his movement to English football a reality.
“As things have finally come to an end on this strange season I’d like to say thank you Brighton Hove Albion & every soul involved for opening the door for me to Premier League football.
I’ve felt at ‘home’ from the first second of my time with the Seagulls. Beating Man Utd in the Amex,” he wrote.
Balogun made his Bundesliga debut on 19 April 2009 for Hannover 96 in a game against Hamburger SV.
After his contract with 2. Bundesliga side Fortuna Düsseldorf had been expired in summer 2014, he was without a club for three months until he joined fellow leaguer Darmstadt 98.
He signed a contract until the end of the 2014–15 season.
He made his competitive debut for the Brighton Hove Albion, coming on as an early substitute against Manchester United replacing injured Lewis Dunk, the Seagulls went on to beat United 3–2 at The Amex.
He scored his first goal for the Albion to make it 2–0 against bitter rivals Crystal Palace at the Amex where he scored in 25 seconds after being subbed on replacing Pascal Groß as a result of a Shane Duffy red card for head butting, the game finished 3–1 to the Albion .
Born to a Nigerian father and German mother, Balogun was called up by Nigeria for a March 2014 friendly against Mexico as a replacement for Joseph Yobo.
Balogun entered at the half, but was injured after 20 minutes in a collision with signage on the touchline. He fractured his foot and was to miss 2–3 months after surgery. However, he later confirmed to news media that his injury did not require surgery.
On 25 March 2015, he played his second game for Nigeria in a 1–0 loss against Uganda. He played his third game for the country on 13 June 2015 when he featured in a 2–0 win over Chad in the opening game of qualifying for the 2017 African Nations Cup.
In June 2018, he was named in Nigeria’s final 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Balogun played in every minute of the three games Nigeria played in, including a 2–0 win over Iceland, but were eliminated after finishing 3rd in their group.
Balogun was included in Nigeria’s squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
His first appearance in the competition came in Nigeria’s second group game against Guinea in which Nigeria won 1–0 to seal qualification into the knockouts.
Balogun made 4 appearances in the competition where The Super Eagles finished as bronze medallists.