New Brighton & Hove Albion defender Leon Balogun expressed his admiration for the club’s recent journey to the Premier League after he was confirmed as the club’s first summer signing on Tuesday.
The 29-year-old put pen to paper on a two-year deal earlier and is looking forward to achieving a childhood ambition of playing in the English top flight.
He said, “I always had a dream to play in the Premier League, and Brighton was one of the first teams to show an interest in me.
“I’ve been following English football as much as I can in Germany, and I saw how they got promoted from the Championship.
“I liked the way they played last season in the Premier League too and how they were able to maintain their status. It’s really impressive how they work, not just as individuals, but as a team too.”
Balogun will link up with a familiar face in Pascal Gross and the defender paid tribute to the club’s Player of the Season in 2016/17.
He is also looking forward to working with Chris Hughton and praised the way the Seagulls boss has got the best out of the current squad.
“I know Pascal Gross. The fans have voted him player of the season and I think he did a brilliant job in Germany.
“He’s not the fastest player, but he’s very intelligent and can play with his left foot and right foot too He runs a lot and works hard for the team.
“I just met the manager and spoke to him on the phone once. He seems like a real gentleman, who is very calm, polite and knows exactly what he wants to do.
“You can see that in the way in which the team performed throughout the season.”
The centre-back also highlighted the differences he anticipates between the Bundesliga and Premier League and is relishing the new adventure which awaits.
“I think the Premier League is more competitive. The Bundesliga is probably the most comparable to the Premier League.
“Every footballer wants to compete and I think that’s the biggest challenge. It’s more physical, which I personally like. It’s a bit quicker as well and the individual quality in each team is on another level in comparison to the Bundesliga.
“This is my first club outside of Germany, so there will be a lot of new stuff to adapt to, but I am looking forward to this new experience.”