Leon Balogun returning to Rangers would have been flat-out rejected and laughed off merely days ago had it been suggested.

But here we are - signing number seven of the summer is indeed the man himself.

One year after leaving the club and following Michael Beale to QPR, Balogun is back at Ibrox. The reaction, it’s fair to say, has been mixed.

I understand the move completely and see the logic in it, especially when you consider the injury situation of the centre-backs currently at the club. Despite John Souttar seemingly overcoming his own difficulties towards the tail end of last season, he needs a longer spell on the pitch uninterrupted to remove the availability question mark. Connor Goldson was ruled out for 10 weeks at the end of May and Ben Davies, who ended last season on the treatment table, endured a stop-start first campaign. 

Seeing isn’t necessarily agreeing, however.

Balogun missed a large chunk of last season himself through injury playing for QPR. He’s 35 and if we’re perfectly honest, was arguably released at the right time in the summer of 2022. I can’t get on board with thinking this is a good idea without acknowledging the massive degree of risk attached. Because make no mistake, there is plenty of it.

Here’s the honest truth of where I am as things stand.

The window has been good so far. All six recruits look to be of a good standard with Lammers and Dessers especially likely to kick on and excite the fanbase. Money has been spent to really improve the top end of the park, something everyone could see was necessary.

However, the squad remains short of two or three real quality signings. The outcome of this season hinges on it in this writer’s humble opinion. If the squad were to have no further additions ahead of the new campaign I wouldn’t be overly confident. There's still plenty of work to be done during this window. 

Beale still needs a forward and midfielder, before we even discuss the centre of defence. Goldson and Souttar are solid but Davies is yet to convince plenty of the support a year on from his arrival. More importantly, all three spent significant time on the sideline due to injury during the last campaign. 

With Leon King now facing months of recovery, it leaves the defence understaffed. That’s why Balogun's move makes sense on one hand. However, given his age, does the Nigerian still possess the ability required to make the grade at Ibrox?

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Because age does eventually catch up with the body, it’s a non-negotiable.

There is a circumstance in which this move is understandable. If Beale is to add extra quality to his defence, something that surely was on its way regardless of King's injury, Balogun's return could well be looked back upon as a sensible one.

In fact, I’d argue that if the big defender had arrived towards the end of the campaign after further marquee arrivals his signing would've been better received. Timing is everything in football, after all.

The problem we have now is that the squad remains bloated and may need maintenance before any new arrivals come in the door. There’s still plenty of work to be done for this group to be in the collective shape Beale desires, both on a numerical and technical front.

The manager told us there would be a ‘few grey hairs’ in amongst the summer recruitment and Balogun certainly brings a wealth of experience. He knows the club and is a respected leader. Given the number of senior players who left this summer, that could be no bad thing.

My head says it’s sensible, but my heart says Balogun’s time has gone.

Whatever happens after this, Rangers have done well in the market up until now. This is the time to kick on and step it up further, to finish strong after starting well.

I really believe in this management team and this squad, but both my head and heart tell me there is so much more to do in order to enjoy a successful season. 

If the summer is to be judged as a success, and indeed the season in front of us, the next seven weeks until the window shuts remain absolutely imperative. There’s plenty more work to do.

Only time will tell us whether Balogun’s return can be regarded as a sensible backup or panic option. Let’s all hope it’s the former.