Leon Balogun has completed a permanent transfer from Brighton to Wigan Athletic, as per The Argus.
The Nigeria defender was on loan to the Latics since January and, having recently agreed an extension to that deal to keep him with the Championship club for the remainder of the season, he has now decided to end his association with the Seagulls entirely.
Balogun joined Brighton from Mainz two years ago but he only made 12 appearances in total for the Seagulls, just two of his came this season (both in domestic cup competitions).
With Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy forming a lasting partnership at the centre of defence, and with Adam Webster also added to the ranks last summer, the Nigerian’s first team prospects at the Amex Stadium diminished greatly to the point where he regularly didn’t even make the bench under Graham Potter.
He had at least been enjoying regular game-time during his loan spell at Wigan earlier in the year, although he didn’t feature in the Latics’ 2-0 win at Huddersfield last week (as per TransferMarkt).
While Balogun seemed to have no future at Brighton and was justified in moving on in order to bolster his career, his permanent departure could leave the Seagulls needing to look at centre-back reinforcements in the summer.
Did Brighton make the right decision in selling Leon Balogun permanently?
Indeed, perhaps they should have sought to take him back for the rest of this season as their central defensive options could suddenly look rather slim. Webster is an injury doubt for Tuesday’s clash against Manchester United while Dunk is just one yellow card away from a two-match suspension (as per Brighton & Hove Independent).
Even if Potter gets through the rest of this term with a sufficient quantity of centre-backs, it is an area that he may need to address in the transfer window – unless they can manage to keep Ben White once he returns from his loan at Leeds, with the youngster attracting transfer interest from the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City (as per The Athletic via Daily Mail).
Brighton fans, did you feel short-changed by Balogun’s contribution at the club or was he just unfortunate to be competing with the likes of Dunk and Duffy? Share your views in the comments section below!
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