Balogun impresses on his full Championship debut for Middlesbrough

Arsenal loanee Folarin Balogun made his full debut in the Championship for Middlesbrough today in their 4-1 win over Derby County.

The Rams have been reaping plenty of plaudits in recent weeks, with Wayne Rooney having given his side every chance of surviving relegation despite a hefty points deduction at the start of the campaign.

Today was not to be their day however, as Chris Wilder’s Boro side were in top form. Balogun was a constant threat throughout the 90 minutes, but is still yet to find the back of the net. He did mark his performance with a sublime assist, twisting the goalkeeper to back heel the ball into the path of Duncan Watmore to poke home.

The striker will hopefully get the chance to continue that form next week when they take on Bristol and continue to push to cement themselves into the top six of the division.

Our youngster shared his happiness in his side’s win by taking to social media this evening to share an image of them celebrating the goal which he played a key role in.

Will Balogun need to start scoring consistently to be considered for a squad role in the Arsenal first-team next term? Could his assist give him a big confidence boost to push on and hit top form?


Tags Folarin Balogun


  1. I don’t really have too much first hand knowledge of Balogun the player, I seem to recall he came on as sub in a Carabao or Europa game and scored last season? and there was a clamour from some on here for him to overtake Eddie in the pecking order for League games

    Eddie himself didn’t get too much League action last year and zero League starts this season

    The on line support for Balogan appeared to dry up after the poor start this season when he covered the missing Auba, Laca and Eddie but I thought it a bit harsh to point any fingers at him then because of circumstances, although you could argue that it was an opportunity missed for him

    I am aware that he scored loads of goals for the 23s but to be honest my only real view of him was the Carabao game this season when he started alongside Eddie who scored a hat trick on the night and Balogun was a bit quiet, not many on target efforts, no assists and a booking I seem to recall

    So I guess we will see in the summer, the loan to Boro can’t hurt but then I think about Willock’s loan to Newcastle that was sensational followed by a permanent move but he hasn’t been able to repeat that form there since

    We will certainly buy goalscorers in the summer, one for sure, probably two if neither Laca or Eddie stay but it could be three if Balogun either doesn’t show at Boro or moves there permanently like what happened with the Willock situation

  2. He’s got it in the locker that’s all I’ll say fella.

    Under 23’s is nothing like senior football also normally strikers seem to hit their form in towards their mid twenties. He has pace, strength, exceptional skill and when he hits his stride his finishing is exceptional. He has the ability to play off the shoulder, with his back to goal and through the lines.

    I’m glad all the hype has died down like with Patino and he’s gone to a great coach in Wilder who will bring him on. Who would have thought ESR would be the important player he’s is today after his solid but not spectacular loan to Huddersfield. Let these lads develop in peace I think.

    Eddie Nkethia is no doubt a decent player but I feel his size is an issue plus he can only really play in-between the lines. For a player like him he has to make sure his conversion rate is high or he will struggle to become a regular at any team.

    There will be a few more young lads added to the roster next season on a more full time basis. Omari Hutchinson, Charlie Patino, Folarin Balogun, Miguel Azeez and Mika Beirieth all looking like they could make a first team squad perminently. With Eddie and Laca leaving we will sign a new striker and I think Dom Calvert-Lewin will be that man with Balogun and Beirieth as back up.

    With Matt Turner confirmed as back up to Ramsdale Leno will be sold. Well be welcoming back Saliba to our CB team. Elneny will be gone and Xhaka will probably be sold. Add in Bissouma and Tielemens to join Partey with Sambi, Patino and Azeez as back up in midfield. Then get in Djed Spence as full back cover/rotation. All added to DCL up top were very strong indeed.

    With a 180m out lay in the summer our squad will be:

    Ramsdale, Turner
    Tomiyasu, Spence
    Gabriel, White, Saliba, Holding
    Tierney, Taveres
    Party, Bissouma, Tielemens, Sambi, Patino, Azeez
    Odegaard, ESR
    Saka, Martinelli, Pepe, Hutchinson
    DCL, Balogun, Beirieth

    That’s a squad of 25 on the dot

    1. Calvert lewin doesn’t convince me – I like him, but I think he’d disappoint as his playing style is too simple. He’s like Antonio – strong, fast, good in the air, but limited on the floor, and he has injury issues. Not good enough to be our main striker for the long term imo, and we’d have to spend big to get him.

  3. I’m sure he has James, I just haven’t see enough of him to have an opinion yet but I certainly haven’t given up on him, I haven’t given up on Eddie yet either and hope he stays

    George Graham let Andy Cole go at a similar age to Balogun, he had bought Ian Wright and had Kevin Campbell coming through the ranks and went with them, Cole went on to win the lot elsewhere

    However it’s possible that Balogun himself will be the impatient one, he might look at Saka, ESR, and Martinelli at similar ages and think that he needs to move on to get regular first team football elsewhere

    I believe we will buy at least two strikers in the summer, not sure about DCL myself, I would prefer Bamford to replace Auba and maybe Callum Wilson (assuming they both recover well enough from current injuries) to replace Laca but who knows maybe we will push the boat out for a more “exotic” big name goal scorer

    1. Bamford is a good shout I have alot of time for him and would fit in nicely. I also like Ivan Toney who like Bamford would fit in great at the club be has a little more pace and power about his game. The reason for DCL or Bamford and Toney is their proven Prem. I think if we go for striker from the continent there is that settling in period that we can I’ll afford of we want to hit the ground running

      1. If we are talking about strikers whose surname starts with B then I’ll plump for Broja. He’d looked the business every time I’ve seen him.

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