Brighton and Hove Albion sign Nigerian international

Posted On 23 May 2018 at 12:05 am

Brighton and Hove Albion have signed a Nigerian international defender.

The 29-year-old centre-back, Leon Balogun, joins on a free transfer having left the Bundesliga side FSV Mainz 05.

Balogun has signed a two-year deal with the Seagulls.

Albion manager Chris Hughton said: “I am delighted to welcome Leon to the club. He will add more depth to our defensive options – and I am pleased to get our first piece of business done so early in the summer.

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“He is in the peak years of his career and I am sure he will integrate well into the squad.

“He also has valuable experience, having played in the Bundesliga, the Europa League and at international level.”

The 6ft 3in defender began his club career at Turkiyemspor Berlin in July 2007 before further moves to Hannover and Werder Bremen.

Brief spells at Fortuna Dusseldorf and SV Darmstadt 98 followed before he joined Mainz in July 2015, where he has made a total of 58 appearances, scoring once.

Berlin-born Balogun is eligible to play for Nigeria through his father and has 14 caps to his name.

He missed out on the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after breaking his foot shortly before the tournament.

But he has been named in the preliminary 30-man squad for Russia 2018 after helping the Super Eagles to qualify.

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