Brighton Hove Albion defender, Leon Aderemi Balogun has disclosed that the high level of experience he gained playing in Germany and with the Super Eagles helped him get a top performance during his English Premier League debut against Manchester United.
A rave of accolades are following in Balogun’s direction, following the sterling role he played off the bench in The Seagulls’ famous 3-2 spanking of The Red Devils but, while he admits exposure was key to his ability on Saturday, he is determined to get better.
Three first-half goals from Glenn Murray, Shane Duffy and Pascal Gross were enough to see Chris Hughton’s side record their first league win of the season.
However, while emphasising that Brighton must maintain the levels they reached in that victory over Jose Mourinho’s men, Balogun said he is ready to offer the best of his ability to make his side soar higher.
The former Fortuna Dusseldorf, Darmstadt and SV Mainz of Germany defender, who got his Premier League debut in place of Lewis Dunk during the first half against United, said it was easy for him to adapt in his debut in English football because of his mentality.
Balogun disclosed: “Psychologically, it wasn’t the biggest challenge for me because I’m 30-years old and have a lot of experience in the game.
“The biggest thing was adapting to the style of play within the side, because I came back in quite late after the World Cup during the summer.
“It’s different in competitive matches, in the first goal Romelu Lukaku was my man and I didn’t pick him up during the second phase of play – the ball got deflected and I didn’t anticipate – these are the challenges that I still have to get used to.
“But the team made it quite easy and we talked a lot in defence and that helped me settle in quite fast – it’s normal that it might take a while.
“It’s an amazing way to get our first win of the season – we’ve set the bar really high now, and we showed a great reaction from the Watford defeat.
“This is the level we always want to achieve consistently, and it was a great afternoon for me (but) it’s too early to make predictions.
“We’ve had one good game and one bad game and have some aspects to improve. It’s about consistency and if we can perform like on Sunday, then it will be a strong season.”