Hughton hopes to have the Super Eagles defender in his best form ahead of the 2018-19 campaign
Leon Balogun is expected to resume at his new club Brighton & Hove Albion on Tuesday, according to coach Chris Hughton.
Before the start of the World Cup, the defender was snapped on a two-year deal as a free transfer, after bringing an end to his nine-year stint in Germany.
He, alongside Matthew Ryan [Australia] and Jose Izquierdo [Colombia] were Brighton’s representatives at the just concluded quadrennial showpiece in Russia.
The 30-year-old centre-back played in all three Nigeria games at the tournament as they suffered a group stage exit, same as goalkeeper Ryan, who is expected back at the club on Wednesday.
Winger Izquierdo had an extended stay in Russia, helping his side to the Round of 16 where they were eliminated on penalties by England, and thus, is not expected back until next week Monday.
And Hughton hopes that, with their pre-season programmes, the trio would reach the required level ahead of the 2018-19 season.
“The three players who went to the tournament are back this week – Leon comes back on Tuesday, Maty is back on Wednesday,” Hughton told club website.
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“Jose has an extended period of time because his country reached the knockout stages, so he will be back with the group next Monday.
“They’ll all come back in good shape but once the season starts you want them to be up to speed, so for us it’s about making sure that they will be.”
On Saturday, Brighton began pre-season with a 1-1 stalemate against Swiss top-flight outfit St. Gallen and they are left with four friendlies before their English Premier League 2018-19 season opener against Watford on August 11.