Brighton boss Hughton hopes Balogun features in Nigeria’s games

The 30-year-old has featured sparingly for the Seagulls and the 60-year-old is looking to see the defender back in action with the west Africans

Brighton and Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton hopes Leon Balogun plays for Nigeria when they take on Sychelles and Egypt.

Gernot Rohr’s men trade tackles with the Pirates for their final 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifiers on Friday before a friendly tie with the Pharaohs on Tuesday.

Balogun has featured sparingly for the Seagulls since joining on a free last summer, making only eight Premier League appearances as Hughton prefers the duo of Sean Duffy and Lewis Dunk in the centre-back position, his recent injury problem has not also helped his case.

However, the 60-year-old is looking to see the former Werder Bremen man back in action with the Super Eagles in their March outings to help him remain in shape.

“Leon Balogun, for example, is going away on international duty with Nigeria and we’re hoping he plays both matches,” Hughton told club website.

Balogun has been a consistent fixture for the West Africans since making his debut in a friendly game against Mexico in March 2014.

The defender has 23 caps for the three-time African champions and played all their three games at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

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