Folarin Balogun is full of confidence as he prepares for his first season amongst the Arsenal first-team, speaking ahead of our friendly with Chelsea tomorrow.
The Gunners are set to take on both Tottenham and the Blues in this summer’s Mind Series, with all three London heavyweights set to play each other in a round-robin.
The first match of the three will be at the Emirates tomorrow, and Balogun is quoted in the official matchday programme talking of his more prominent role in the playing squad, and what it means to him.
“I feel it’s important to be in the first team changing room with the rest of the players. You feel like you are actually, fully involved,” Balogun said in Arsenal’s matchday programme for the visit of Chelsea.
“That’s something I’m really happy with, I feel like more a part of the set up and that helps on the pitch as well.
“I always back myself. The more you prepare for something, the more confident you get, so I just need to keep working hard and sharpening up my tools.”
It will be interesting to see how heavily involved in the first-team the American-born forward will be once the season kicks off, especially with Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette both in contention for the central striker role at present, although both have been linked with exits this summer.
Balogun has been tried out in a wide-forward role in pre-season, which could well open the door for further minutes, but whether he has done enough to convince Mikel Arteta that he can be trusted to play in the wider roles remains to be seen.
Is Balogun suited to playing out wide in a similar way to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang?