Opinion: Do you still think Folarin Balogun is better than Nketiah?

We started this season with the news that Mikel Arteta has promoted Folarin Balogun to the Arsenal first team.

His promotion means Eddie Nketiah now has one more competitor for a place in the team.

This wasn’t good news considering that the striker has failed to replicate his form for the England Under21 national team at Arsenal.

But Folarin struggled at the start of this season when Nketiah and other senior strikers were unavailable for selection.

Nketiah returned from an early-season injury to show why it is probably too early to give up on him now.

Playing with an expiring contract, he has scored two goals in two Carabao Cup games this season.

Those two matches are the only fixtures he has been involved in and it’s a return of a goal a game for Arsenal from him.

After Balogun impressed in some Europa League matches last season, some Arsenal fans concluded that he should move ahead of Nketiah in the pecking order.

Are you one of them? Do you still believe Nketiah has missed his chance to become a top player at Arsenal?

You could argue that the striker is playing to impress potential suitors now ahead of leaving Arsenal next summer, but the truth remains Nketiah has always shown he had potential.

I am not sure if he doesn’t fit the system of Arteta or if it is a lack of effort from him, but he is clearly talented enough to make a name for himself at Arsenal and I am afraid that we might regret losing him at the end of this season.

Tags Eddie Nketiah Folarin Balogun


  1. Nketiah has obviously improved his abilities to play as a CF, but let’s see when he starts against a stronger team

  2. what a ridiculous question to pose at this juncture…how exactly should we compare a player we barely see, who’s been rather underwhelming for years, to a player we’ve hardly ever seen in the first team…classic recency bias narrative

    1. TRVL Totally agree.
      This article poses a most ridiculous question that none of can properly hope to answer with any truth. But sadly, this type of question is becoming far too common on JA by CERTAIN writers!

  3. Eddie played more first team football, he became more exprienced. He started to play first team football with Wenger.
    Blogun played very few matches.
    He needs a run of games

  4. “Are you one of them? Do you still believe Nketiah has missed his chance to become a top player at Arsenal?”

    No I wasn’t one of them, as I watched Eddie a lot while he was with the U23. I could tell you he was more skillful and had more dynamism to his game than Balogun currently does.
    He had everything to become ba top striker, deep down somewhere he still does because I don’t believe those abilities just disappear like that.
    You ain’t seen any of our previous legends take any of our youngsters as an understudy, yet Ian Wright took Eddie under his because of his abilities, and helped him a lot.
    It was evident when different clubs came calling for him with loan offers.
    Though he seems a stagnated player right now, I hope he rediscovers himself band he goes on to have an immense career even if it ain’t with us.
    Always enjoyed watching him play for the U23.
    He’s somewhat in the same situation as Nelson, bags of talent and potential but too scared to believe in their abilities.
    Fans only kept calling for Balogun because he seemed like a new shiny toy they wanted

    1. Thank goodness I’m not the only one who always rated him. As I always say for me I always look at a player individual game before stats. That attached to their output and decision making is what will determine their true class which is why I never rated Pepe as highly as any here when he was being hyped at Lille. I’m not the one to overhype players or easily get impressed but I still do believe Nketiah has the talent to be a great goalscorer. Its not that he’s improved but he’s got his confidence back. Under Wenegr and Emery he had a spark you could always see when he played. His playing style is a fusion of Lacazette and Aubameyang. He can dribble, hold-up the ball and finish. Balogun is also great too. Both at their best its really hard to say who’s better but Nketiah has the potential to be a great goalscorer. He has that talent and I wish he would sign and go on loan.

      1. I would offer him a new contract and send him to Brighton on loan, but I ain’t in charge of the club.
        Only few people actually ever watched him play before be got promoted.
        Dangerous player he was, dangerous player he can still be

        1. I wish we would see more of him this season. When he came on vs Chelsea in preseason he was easily beating their players and you can see that he could have his best season here if played. Many people give up on some of our youngsters too much because they they have already deemed them as not good enough from the go. He can be a great goalscorer. The big question to answer is if the end product he showed in the academy was just form or talent. That will determine his class because has all the other qualities for a man his size to excel.

  5. As it stands they both failing at Arsenal! Some players just cant do it no matter how good they look!! Look at ronaldo 18 yr old brazilian banging 30 goals by time he 30 he done washed up… micah richards, balotelli.. how long we wanna wait how much we wanna invest in these players? Thats the real question. Its not about ability at 18 its about mindset.

    1. Yes there is some players that shine younger. But that foes not meen anything. Lol, look at balotelli. Nice. Very promising. Great start of career… Where is he now ? On the opposite, lets talk about didier Drogba ! This guy was playing fro french second tier until being 25 years old. Same could be said with some defenders. Look at Senderos. Look at christanval. But on the other side look at koscielny. Similar to drogba ! Still played in second tier league in france until being 24. Became almost best defender in the league. Last but not least, ian wright played in second division until hr was 26yo !!!! These are exceptions, ok, but means that some players can really explode later, because of work, ethics, focus…

  6. Both of them are only good at youth level to be honest , there are players like that. They can’t reach the level of Auba or Laca.

  7. Eddie was terrible in this game. I counted at least 4 times when the CB or CM would break through the middle, bearing down on the defence, and Eddie would literally want the ball to feet rather than making a run and stretching play. It was so frustrating and he is not Arsenal material.

  8. Arteta and Edu should do all that they can both do to extend the contract deal of Eddie Nkethia at Arsenal beyond next summer window when he’s contract at the club will expired according to reports.

    But why according to reports Nkethia has turned down the offer to him by Arsenal to extend his contract at the club? Is it for money earnings reason, or for other unrelated reasons?

    But whatever the reason(s) is or are, i think Nkethia should come to terms with the club and negotiate to extend his staying at Arsenal since Arteta and Edu and even us the club fans want him to stay.

    I think Nkethia should understand the fact that Arsenal is already written in him. But it will amount to a show of unfaithfulness to Arsenal FC should he abandons us to go elsewhere to pasture new when us still want him to be with us.

    And I don’t think the staying of Nkethia at Arsenal has something to do with Balogun staying at the club. For, the duo Gunners can be at Arsenal at the same tome if the club want them to stay as currently the case.

  9. I think it’s important once again to address the all-too-often misguided notion that youth success invariably leads to success at the highest professional levels

    when one actually watches Eddie, he clearly puts in a shift, rarely looks way out of his depth and occasionally displays something of note, but there’s nothing about his performances that suggest he would ever be the kind of Striker who could help lead a team with higher aspirations

    of course that doesn’t mean he’s useless and/or couldn’t provide someone with adequate cover on occasion, but it does suggest that the likelihood of him becoming a viable first team option is slim to none and as such we should move on and let someone else have a chance

    much like Reiss, when one holds them to the same standards as you would a player from a different team, whom we expressed some interest in, they fail the all important “eye test” far too often for my liking

  10. This annoys me. Nketiah scores from close range, from a shot he nearly fumbles, and Arteta afterwards praises him to the heavens, ‘We want him to stay etc’ , when compared to Martinelli and Balogun he is a limited striker who can only operate efficiently with the right service. If Balogun cannot even make the team for the Carabao Cup what must he be thinking. I expect he will go out on loan in January, (where’s Tony Pulis when you need him!), and Martinelli will be wanting away at this rate. Nketiah has had chances, and now needs to be sold.

    1. All of you haters for no just cause! You never cease to amaze me. “Nketiah scores from close range, from a shot he nearly fumbles.” There is no such thing as near fumble, for a goal he clearly scored after hard work. Your selective judgement didn’t allow you to see how perfectly he chased down the keeper, lobbed the ball over him, and trapped the ball with precision even with his weaker foot (what most seasoned skrikers miss all the time), before coolly slotting it in.
      All you so-called fans, specialists in faultfinding, I bow for you ( smh).

      1. you lost anyone with eyes at “coolly slotted it in”, not even he would suggest such a ludicrous notion…give your head a shake Gily

  11. If a player of Martinelli’s quality isn’t getting any significant opportunity in the first team , then the rest are surplus to requirements. That’s what Man Utd did with Danny James

  12. how many professional minutes does Balogun have? Barley any. Nketiah wins by default essentially. Strange question, secondly. Nketiah is gone come May so not really invested in his development anymore.

  13. Nketiah is surely talented and must be given an extended contract. He only needs more playing time and consistency to improve. Balogun can go to another PL club on loan till summer to further his development, but Arsenal must keep Nketiah.

  14. It’s not fair to compare any of them when we didn’t see them playing enough with the first team.

  15. Nketiah hardly plays. When he does play he is not impressive. Seems like flogging a dead horse. Does Arteta know by now? Players like Balogun and Martinelli will not get confidence if you don’t play them, in fact they will go backwards. Shame Salah Uddin was not given 20min against Leeds. I’ve watched him and he is a ‘goodun’.

    1. Nketiah, as i think of him doesn’t freak me at all but I suppose he possesses a luck quality which makes him score goals whenever he plays( I hope my expression makes a bit of sense). He not a team player as far as I am concerned but in Balogun I seee a player who is direct and can also make ambitious run in anticipation of the ball. Let be sincere with ourselves Nketiah is not good enough for Arsenal and I still can’t believe Arteta dropped Lacazette for him at some point in the past.

  16. Nketiah, as I think of him doesn’t freak me at all. But I suppose he possesses this luck quality that enables him score goals whenever he plays and apart from that he does nothing to convince me that he is a good player. We are calling for a contract extension because he got a goal he almost missed no doubt he slogged his guts out to create that chance but we shouldn’t because he created that chance himself shy away from rebuking him for the nonchalant display. Let be honest with ourselves Nketiah is not good enough for Arsenal and I still can’t believe Arteta benched Lacazette for this guy at some point in the past.

  17. I said it before…EN is a late starter….he’s only 22 years old……give him time…..he’ll only get better……!

  18. Age shouldn’t be considered a barrier. We have a lot of young strikers who are not up to his age and are scoring regularly so, don’t tell me he is only 22yrs old. Martinelli will outperform him if he had the same playing time . Despite the limited time martinelli got last season he still managed two Epl goals and made some assists. After the Leeds game, many suggested that martinelli was poor likewise smith rowe was and I told my pal that smith wasn’t going to make any impact in this game becos of the players he is being teamed with. People failed to remember that martinelli played with our second team players and what do you expect from a player teamed by average players and in this case xhaka’s notion comes to mind(you can only be as good as the team you are in)** Arteta fields Martinelli alongside not so good players alot of time and they cloud his performance casting him into oblivion. In martinelli I believe we have a world-class striker who won’t make rue over Nketiah’s departure.

  19. Shouldn’t be worried about who is better eddie or Flo? Currently in arteta’s eyes neither have what it takes to get past Martinelli, let alone laca and auba.

    Personally, there are two players that are nearly out of contract that I would try to keep. Eddie being one, Laca being the other. As for Elneny, kola and chambers I would try to cash in this January.

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