Leon Balogun relishing the chance to play in the Premier League

Leon Balogun relishing the chance to play in the Premier League

The Nigerian expressed his eagerness to play for Brighton, and showed great interest in the manner that they confirmed survival last season

jack-young
Jack Young

Leon Balogun sealed a free transfer to Brighton & Hove Albion on Tuesday morning, signing for the South-coast club on a two-year-deal. He becomes Brighton's first signing of summer.

The Nigerian defender previously played for German club 1. FSV Mainz 05, spending three years at the club.

Balogun said he was eagerly anticipating a lifelong dream of playing in England's top-flight.

Balogun fulfilling a dream

The centre-half admitted that he "always had a dream to play in the Premier League," and that Brighton were "one of the first teams to show interest in me."

Brighton have not always been known to complete their transfer business early in the window, missing out on a striker last summer after leaving any potential negotiations to the final day.

Balogun also told the club's official website that he had been following English football "as much as I can," and said he "saw how they got promoted from the Championship."

The 29-year-old will feature at the FIFA World Cup in June for Nigeria, giving Albion fans an insight into the type of player they have acquired.

The Super Eagles were drawn in Group G, alongside Argentina, Iceland and Croatia.

Impressed by Brighton

Balogun also commented on Brighton's style, revealing he "liked the way they played" last season under manager Chris Hughton.

In addition to that, the former Mainz defender admitted it is "impressive how they work," not just on an individual level, but "as a team too."

The element of togetherness was a key factor in the Seagulls' promotion push last season, a value that head coach Hughton implemented from day one.

Hughton was appointed as Brighton manager on New Year's Eve in 2014, succeeding Sami Hyypiä.

Balogun will add a level of experience to the Brighton back four, and also valuable depth at centre-back, as the Sussex-based side aim to secure a third season in the Premier League.

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