NEW signing Leon Balogun has his sights set on a third season in the Premier League for Albion as his World Cup preparations gather pace.

The Nigerian international defender says further consolidation in his debut campaign for the Seagulls will be the aim.

Balogun has joined on a free transfer from Bundesliga outfit Mainz after Albion finished 15th in their first season since promotion.

He told The Argus: “I haven’t spoken about targets too much but I think it is the target of the club to improve but the main goal is to stay in the Premier League.

“Once you have reached a certain amount of points you can see what comes on top of it. From my experience of teams in Germany you always need to have a minimum target, then everything on top is just a bonus.”

Albion have captured the versatile Balogun amid doubts about the future of Glasgow Rangers transfer target Connor Goldson and following the return to Paderborn in German of Uwe Huenemeier.

“I am right-footed so I prefer the right side,” Balogun said. “I can play every position in the back line but I prefer centre-half, definitely. I ended up playing in the full-back more or less as an emergency when I played at Hanover and Werder Bremen. I am not slow and I always felt comfortable attacking down the flank.

“I had my good times in the right-back position but now I feel most comfortable at centre-half.”

Balogun is expected to feature in Nigeria’s home friendly against Congo in Port Harcourt this evening (8pm) before they travel to London to face England at Wembley on Saturday (5.15pm).

Gernot Rohr, German head coach of the Super Eagles, will trim his squad from 30 players to 25 after the Congo match and then name his final squad of 23 after the England game, which is followed by a training camp in Austria.

Berlin-born Balogun, whose father is Nigerian and mother German, said: “I think my chances are quite high. I played almost all the qualifying games.

“I think I had a big impact as well. It would be a surprise if I get excluded.”

Balogun will provide competition and cover at the Amex for Shane Duffy, who is likely to figure in the Republic of Ireland’s friendly against France in Paris tonight (8pm).

Duffy was sent-off in the last 16 of Euro 2016 against the French for a professional foul on Antoine Griezmann.