May 23, 2018 / 5:59 AM / a month ago

Soccer: Brighton sign Nigeria international Balogun on free transfer

(Reuters) - Brighton and Hove Albion have signed Nigeria international defender Leon Balogun with the free agent signing a two-year deal, the Premier League side said on Tuesday.

Soccer Football - Bundesliga - 1.FSV Mainz 05 vs SC Freiburg - Opel Arena, Mainz, Germany - April 16, 2018 SC Freiburg's Tim Kleindienst in action with Mainz's Leon Balogun REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Balogun, 29, arrives at the south coast side after reaching the end of his contract with German side Mainz. The tall centre-back has plenty of experience in the Bundesliga, having also represented Hanover and Werder Bremen among other clubs.

"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," Brighton manager Chris Hughton told the club's website here

“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 Berlin-born player has represented Nigeria 14 times and was named in manager Gernot Rohr’s provisional 30-man squad for next month’s World Cup.

Brighton finished 15th in the league this season after winning promotion from the Championship for the first time in 2017.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ian Ransom

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