Folarin Balogun launches himself in Arsenal’s senior team with a goal

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Folarin Balogun found favor in the sight of Arsenal’s coach Mikel Arteta during the club’s Europa League game against Molde on Thursday which ended 3-0 in favor of the Premier League club.

The 19-year-old Nigerian born English center-forward was introduced into the match in the 82nd minute to replace 21-year-old English striker Eddie Nketiah. Few seconds after his involvement in the match, Balogun scored his first senior goal for Arsenal in the 83rd minute.

There are no records that Folarin Balogun has fully gained promotion into Arsenal’s senior team but he was registered as part of the club’s squad for the 2020-2021 Europa League season. The first time the England youth international made a senior team appearance for Arsenal was against Dundalk FC in the Europa League on October 29, 2020. He played only 16 minutes in the match that ended 3-0 in favor of Arsenal.

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Though the center-forward didn’t score any goal nor assisted in the match, his moves on and off the ball impressed Arsenal’s fans and indeed the club’s coach Mikel Arteta. Hence, he was given a second chance on Thursday to further prove himself and he did that in the first one minute of coming into the game against Norwegian side Molde.

Immediately Mikel Arteta introduced him into the match, Balogun got involved in the action as he received Smith Rowe’s pass which he took advantage of by putting it behind the net with his right foot.

The goal further established Arsenal at the top of Europa League group B with 12 points after winning four games out of four. This means that the club has qualified for the next round of the competition with two games left to play.

Folarin Balogun and his contract tussle with Arsenal

Folarin Balogun
Folarin Balogun

Folarin Balogun is still one of the best strikers in Arsenal’s under-23 team. This season alone, the striker has scored 3 goals and provided 2 assists in Premier League 2. The England under-20 player has made 15 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring 5 goals and providing 3 assists for Arsenal.

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Despite this form, Arsenal are yet to decide on offering him a new contract at the club. He has not even been promoted officially to the senior team.

Folarin Balogun’s contract with Arsenal will expire on 30 June 2021 and if the club fails to renew it before then, the England youth international will leave the club for free.

But that is not likely to happen especially now that he has been impressing the fans of the club and indeed, the club’s coach, Mikel Arteta.

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