Balogun confident he can live up to Arsenal fan’s expectations

After the ‘will-he, won’t-he’ contract wrangles and agent-led set-backs from last season, most Arsenal fans were celebrating the fact that Folarin Balogun finally decided to extend his contract with the Gunners, with expectations of greatness after his incredible scoring record at all youth levels.

Now he has been rewarded with a first team place in Arteta’s squad this season with the shirt number 26, and he certainly feels ready to challenge Aubameyang, Lacazette and Nketiah for a first team spot.

Arteta seems to be trying to introduce the 20 year-old carefully, but after seeing Saka and Smith-Rowe make their big breakthroughs, perhaps Balogun can surprise us all just as much this year.

It is interesting to note that he scored twice for the senior team with less than 80 minutes on the pitch, and he was given half an hour against Millwall last week and still got on the scoresheet, and his confidence seems to know no bounds.

He was interviewed by Arsenal.com ahead of tomorrow’s Mind Series game against Chelsea, and he has admitted that he enjoys the feeling of pressure. Balogun said: “I don’t see pressure as a negative – it’s a privilege. It’s always a good opportunity to show people what you can do.

“I’m really happy that the fans are there helping me, supporting me and it’s nice to know that they have expectations of me because I am confident that I can meet them.”

“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.

“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.”

Although Aubameyang has drawn blanks so far in pre-season, I feel sure that Arteta will keep him as his Number One striker, but with Eddie Nketiah (who has scored in his last two games) and Balogun breathing down his neck, we may well find ourselves unveiling another superstar youngster this season…

14 Comments

  1. Websurfer says:

    Folarin Balogun is a fantastic skillful player. We believe in him.

  2. Durand says:

    Showed Nketiah is still here. Club best served giving Balogun the extra minutes rather than Nketiah who has had his chances and fluffed.

    Hopefully see more of Balogun and Martinelli as well, think both are part of club’s future.

    Not sure about this year, but in a couple years we’ll have
    1. Saka
    2. Tierney
    3. White
    4. Lokogna
    5. Martinelli
    6. Azeez
    7. Balogun

    That’s a good group to have, especially with experience to lead the club.

    1. John Ibrahim says:

      these players are talented and they need experience heads to led them…

      but fans are not interested in experience players unless they are world class or big tag/name….

  3. RSH says:

    good luck flo!

  4. Longbenark says:

    Please dispose Nketiah far away, he’s had enough time and failed.

  5. Sue says:

    OT.. Azeez scored again today – a screamer from outside the box!

    1. Reggie says:

      Balogun, Azeez, Willock, Martinelli and other young talented players should all be trusted to the first team more this season, given 30 minutes at the end of games and hopefully earning starts but i have my doubts they will.

      1. Sue says:

        I agree, Reggie, said last season the youngsters should be trusted more… and look where it got us 😉
        No reason why they can’t have minutes in the cups, seeing as we have an extra game in the Carabao Cup this season!

        1. Ozziegunner says:

          👍 👍 Hale End is doing a good job, also including some of the players on loan like Moller, Ballard et al.

  6. Biscuitbum says:

    Balogun is probably our most exciting striker prospect, along with Martinelli, but I fear he will be a bench warmer, and will be seen (wrongly) by Arteta as just below Nketia, if that player stays. We have seen how talented players can have a breakout season if they are given the chances; even Joe Willock has proven that.

    1. Biscuitbum says:

      I forgot to say that this is another reason why we shouldn’t block-off our young talent by signing Tammy Abraham.

      1. Ozziegunner says:

        👍

  7. Sean Williams says:

    I am a real fan of Folarin Balogun. He is our new ‘Andy Cole’, so important he sighed a good contract. I am also lookin forwards to seeing Gabriel Martinelli stepping it up, when he comes back from the Olympics. We really do have so many good young players. Warms my heart.

  8. Basil says:

    I think it’ll be great integrating the young with the experienced. We’ve got a lot of talented lads who can blossom into stardom if given the opportunity. Arteta has got a lot of work to do.

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