Super Eagles defender Leon Balogun is relishing the competition for places in the Brighton defence ahead of the new Premier League season.
The 30-year-old centre back joined the South Coast club earlier this summer on a free transfer from German Bundesliga side Mainz 05 and is expected to face stiff competition from last season’s first choice partnership of Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy.
He made his Brighton debut earlier this week against English League One outfit Charlton Athletic.
Leon Balogun was paired with Lewis Dunk and featured for 64 minutes as both sides played out a 1-1 draw.
The former Hannover 96 and Werder Bremen defender talked about the competition for places in the Brigthon defence in an interview with the club’s website.
He said: “It’s always good to have that competition, it will improve all of us as defenders and then we have to take it from there.”
“I’ve seen the qualities of Lewis (Dunk) and Shane (Duffy) in the past week or so since I’ve been here…
“Both are very strong physically and you can tell that they’ve played here for a long time already, but I have qualities myself and I’ll put in my best and see what happens from there.” He added.
On whether his international exposure with the Super Eagles at the World Cup tournament in Russia will help his cause for a starting berth in the new season, Leon Balogun said: “The strikers in the Premier League will have a bit more quality than the World Cup in my opinion, and I think the qualities of the offensive players in the division mean it will be an exciting challenge for me.”
“I’ve come into a side where the two central defenders did very well last year — I just have to do my best, work hard and then you hope it’s enough.
“I can’t come in and say I’ve played in the World Cup and I should start — it has to be about me earning a place in the team.” He concluded.