Leon Balogun has set his sights on grabbing a regular place in the heart of defence with his Premier League club, Brighton ahead of Nigeria’s AFCON adventure in Egypt later this year.
The former Mainz defender has made just a handful of starts for the Seagulls, seven in total since joining from Germany and after helping Nigeria in the last international window, he is determined to win a starting spot with the Chris Hughton-led side.
“It’s been difficult but that’s the manager’s call, I’ve just got to get on with it and hope for a chance,” he told BBC Sport.
“I really hope to play a significant role in my first Nations Cup for Nigeria, but firstly I want to keep working hard to make a strong case for regular games at Brighton.”
Balogun has made four appearances for his club since December 2018, no thanks to injuries and fitness issues, something he has admitted is frustrating.
“It’s very frustrating not to be involved but you can only keep your head up by focusing on helping the club when called upon.
“What is important is to always put myself in the right place as usual. If I am needed anytime to start a game or come in, I’ll be ready for that, it’s all I can do,” he enthused.
The 30-year-old was not listed in the match day squad as Brighton lost 1-0 to Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.