Analysing Michael Beale’s decision: Reasons behind Leon Balogun’s omission from Rangers’ Europa League squad

Recently, Super Eagles star Leon Balogun was left off the Glasgow Rangers roster for the 2023–24 UEFA Europa League

Scottish football club Glasgow Rangers recently announced their squad for the UEFA Europa League group stages, and the absence of Nigerian Super Eagles defender, Leon Balogun, has raised questions.

Manager Michael Beale had a complex task in selecting the Europa League squad. UEFA regulations allow for up to 25 players, with specific requirements for homegrown talent.

To comply, a minimum of eight players in the squad must be club- or nation-trained, and at least four should have come through Rangers’ academy.

One could argue that Rangers’ lack of homegrown talent is the real issue. The club had trouble filling the necessary quota for a full 25-man squad.

Among these criteria, only backup goalkeepers Robby McCrorie and Kieran Wright qualified as homegrown players, having emerged from Rangers’ academy.

As a result of these regulations, sacrifices had to be made, leading to the exclusion of several players, including Leon Balogun, who returned to Rangers this summer after his contract with Queens Park Rangers ended.

The 35-year-old absence from Rangers’ UEFA Europa League squad was primarily due to the club’s difficulties in meeting UEFA’s homegrown player requirements.