Arsenal’s academy has produced some incredible players over the years and Folarin Balogun is the latest talent from their conveyor belt.
Folarin Balogun is considered one of the brightest prospects at Arsenal, but he is yet to commit his future to the club and his current deal expires at the end of the season. The 19-year-old is a prolific goalscorer at youth level, and we’ve brought you the lowdown on the talented prospect.
He has represented both England and USA at under-18 level and is also eligible to play for Nigeria on the international stage.
Born in New York in July 2001, Balogun moved to England at the age of two and his family settled in London. After playing for Sunday League side Aldersbrook, he had a trial period with Tottenham but eventually decided to join Arsenal when he was 10 years old.
The teenager scored 28 goals in 28 matches across all youth competitions last season as the Gunners won the Under-18s Premier League title. He was promoted to the Under-23 side in 2019-20 but that hasn’t slowed him down, scoring 10 goals and registering four assists in 15 appearances in Premier League 2.
Arsenal reportedly rejected a £5million offer from Brentford for the forward in January 2020, while he has also attracted interest from a number of Europe’s top clubs. The 19-year-old had to wait patiently for a chance in the first team before making his senior debut as a second-half substitute in their 3-0 Europa League win over Dundalk.
Balogun is an instinctive striker and clinical finisher with either foot, consistently finding the bottom corners with power and precision. He has also displayed quick feet, blistering pace and excellent movement to run in behind defences.
But Arsenal are spoilt for choice in the striker department with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli all ahead of Balogun in the pecking order.