Can Arsenal repeat their Saliba success with Folarin Balogun

Arsenal can repeat Saliba trick with this youngster

William Saliba developing into a fine defender is for everyone to see.

The youngster was signed from French outfit Saint-Étienne in the summer of 2019 for a whopping £27 million.

After such a massive outlay, there was expectation among the club’s faithful that the 18-year-old would become a regular started immediately.

However, it became frustrating for the fans, when they saw the Frenchman being loaned out for three successive seasons.

There was fear among the supporters that manager Mikel Arteta is doing it all wrong in the Saliba situation.

Three years after signing for the club, however, the 21-year-old has established himself as an important figure in Arteta’s backline.

He has started all five Premier League games for the Gunners and will be expected to play many more this season.

The North London outfit are reaping the rewards of a developed defender that Saliba has become, and credit must be given to the club’s hierarchy of not letting his development stutter.

At the present moment, Folarin Balogun finds himself in similar shoes. There has been huge excitement around him, but the young striker has not featured regularly for the first team of Arsenal, despite being given some chances.

The 21-year-old was loaned out to the French side Reims, and he will be hoping to catch the attention of Arteta, just like Saliba.

The Hale End graduate has already bettered his goal contributions tally at France, then what he was able to achieve in the second half of the campaign in the Championship, lasts season.

The American-born striker has an impressive four goals and one assist to show for in five appearances for his current employers. That comes out to be one goal contribution every match.

At Arsenal we only have Gabriel Jesus with better numbers than Balogun’s (six goal contributions in five games).

What Balogun needs to do is continue working hard, because there is a clear pathway to the first team, in the present climate.

Arsenal are in need of wingers and maybe slightly more depth at the center forward position. Balogun might turn out to be exactly what Arsenal need.

He might save the club millions. And just like Saliba, he too can become an influential figure at the Emirates Stadium.

Yash Bisht


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  1. I really hope so. I was hoping we’d keep him around for the cup games this season as I really rank him. With Azeez and Patino loaned out I wonder which Hale End products are knocking at the door. Would love to see some blooded into the team

    1. Its Arteta u wont see any hale end player this year. Nketiah Will play very little as well. I’ve realized we have pep light checkbook prince

      1. Yeah it seems every big 6 except us get favourable VAR decisions.

        Never a foul and disgusting acting by mendy.

        1. I just don’t know what the referee saw, so dissapointed. Mendy had given the ball away & the striker did well to try avoid him but I just don’t know how it was a foul.

  2. I hope he keeps this momentum the whole season and stays away from injuries.

    @TruGoon: A bit-part in Cup games wouldn’t really give him maximum exposure. Him on loan also allows us to only keep a highly productive squad while the loads helps our youngsters to get up to speed with the expected performance of this great club.

  3. Personally not in the same league as Saliba and I’m not a fan of his playing style ,will he do well in France ?maybe ,but I don’t see him having a future here .
    I put him in the same bracket as Eddie ,maybe a good backup but I do not see him leading the line at a big club in the prem

    1. You are already partially wrong on Eddie. He may not be a superstar, but he can be, at least, a good second option for us this year. Balogun is very talented. I hope he will become a good striker for us

  4. Very Interesting developement . 4 goals and 1 assist alreday . If he socres 11 more goals and add 9 more asists , that will make his tally of 15 goals and 10 assists . Thats a superb state for a young kid and he is doing in a competetive league.
    I have very high hopes on him

  5. Balogun and Tavares are getting invaluable playing time in France, so they will come back as better players

    Unfortunately, the CF role has been taken by Jesus and Nketiah, so either Nketiah or Balogun might be sold next summer

    Hopefully Pepe will also return as a better winger

    1. Lol. How can you make so rapid conclusions 😅😅😅. We have a full season ahead of us. Nketiah just signed a contract, he will play a lot, normally this year. We will see what happens. If balogun does a good season, why drawing conclusions like this so fast ????? Who can predict anything at this point. We might integrate both of Nketiah and balogun in the 3, 4 upfront player. We only have two 9 now. Last year many were already saying early conclusions like you, that we would sell saliba bc we just bought white etc… Look what happened…

      1. White plays better in the inverted RB position and as one of a back-three. He wasn’t as good when being paired with Magalhaes

        As for Nketiah and Balogun, I don’t think any of them can start ahead of Martinelli on the left wing nor can they become his backup

        1. Whatever for white. He was bought as a CB and was moved to make room for Saliba while many were saying we needed to sell. Does it mean there is no room for both ?! (Nketiah, balogun). For a big club, if we compete in all competitions, 3CF is not something crazy. You can always have an injury. Plus we can also play with 2 strikers here and there…

  6. Results gone our way regarding city
    If we want to show up this season 3 points is a must tomorrow ,could be 4 points ahead .

  7. Saliba was already a success before coming to us. He already bossed that league and I watched him do it. It was obvious he was already our best defender before even coming here. Talent is independent of league. As for Balogun he has massive potential and I’m glad he’s showing it.

  8. It is pointless and of no use to compare one 21 yearold striker, who while still twenty showed how far from ready he was for our PREM, to another and a CB, who was eighteen when we bought him and now at 21- the only comparison, their common age , 21,is a diamond, as all can see. One is a 21 yearold PREM novice and miles from ever being ready(IF he ever is so), while the other is a widely accepted superstar in the making and EXREMELY effective in all games so far.

    A silly and pointless non comparison then , IMO!

  9. The big difference between Balogun and Saliba is, Saliba was ready for the prem or top league football when he went to Marseille, Balogun isnt. Saliba was playing at a high level straight from the get go at Marseille, got a French cap and was ready for big boys football. Balogun isnt at that level yet.

  10. OT..

    I honestly think city look worse than last season, I mean why try to fix something when it’s not broke. Haaland is a phenomenal forward but very different to how they have been
    Playing in previous seasons…..

    1. What planet are you on city score and create chances for fun they will win the prem league by a country mile!

        1. No team goes entire year having few off matches. They are unbeaten this season . They have to change the way they play but adapting well early in season.
          It was off day yesterday. Moving ball slowly and at times missing an extra man ( haland doesn’t do what false 9 had been doing for city). But look at matches before that. Or the goal they scored, they dont have to walk the ball in net anymore and conversion from chances they create are expected to increase. Too naive to write them off on basis of 1-2 matches.

          1. @AJ@Mark I’m not writing them off and expect them to win the title but they don’t look as good compared to last season in my opinion.. Haaland has scored half their goals drawn two of their
            Opening six. I honestly think they have made a mistake (can’t believe I’m saying this) in getting Haaland. The problem is he is a very dominant player and will not take kindly to being dropped when the goals dry up, I don’t think he brings enough team play into he’s game and pep is going to have problems.

            Pundits are going overboard with them saying he is the missing piece to winning the CL 🤔 again I’m not convinced personally……

            1. They battered villa .. if anything problems are more at back …but have more points at this point in season than they did last season!!! Hopefully when we meet them mid October our confidence will still be high coz there’s a bunch of tough fixtures before that and they will probably be stronger still

  11. It is called overthinking which comes from Pep Guardiola. Who in his overthinking, is fixing his successful Man City winning team that is not looking to be breaking down. Consequently, causing un-necessary problems to his team as he has dispensed off some of his top quality experience EPL campaigners in his team. And brought in some new ones as replacements to those he has relinquished to leave. All done by him in his efforts making to refresh his team to make it to continue winning the EPL title. And also win the UCL for his Man City team which has continue to evade them up to last season when they reached the semifinals.
    But thank God as Arsenal benefited from Pep Guardiola overthinking as they got Gabriel Jesus and Alex Zinchenko signed from Man City during the last summer transfer window. But Kudos should be accorded to Pep Guardiola for his signing of the Arguably the current world best striker Ering Halaand.

    1. World best striker?
      Based on what criteria and achievements, if I may ask?
      I thought that title belongs to Benzema
      He juts won uefa best player

      Haaland may be the hottest striker, based on form
      but not world best

    2. I agree with everything you say Samuel not sure about world best striker though… Bernardo, foden did not look happy to me yesterday (probably adjusting to a new centre forward) KDB again
      Was their star player. They have scored 5 more than Brentford was
      Fortunate against Palace have conceded 2 more goals than Wolves…….

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