How Aubameyang’s favourite Arsenal youngster changed Arteta’s mind

Must read

“This young boy is fire.”

Those were the words of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when he alerted the world to the talents of Folarin Balogun with a post on social media in 2019.

Few outside of Arsenal would have been aware of the teenage striker up to that point, but when a player such as Aubameyang makes a comment like that based on what he has seen at training, others soon start to take notice.

And take notice they should, because the Gunners have one of the hottest young talents in the country in Balogun – who could be handed his second senior appearance on Thursday against Molde in the Europa League.

The forward is one of several youngsters who have made the trip to Norway with Mikel Arteta’s squad, and while he is not expected to start, he has a good chance of adding to the 14 minutes he was given off the bench against Dundalk earlier in the competition.

“It feels great,” Balogun said after making his senior debut last month. ”It’s a moment I have been waiting for a little while so to finally get it feels great.

“I can only thank Mikel and the staff for this opportunity and I look forward to doing it more often.

“I’ve been working my way through the academy and I think as time has gone on I’ve become a better player. I think that’s shown in my performances and I think it’s good now to get the recognition that my performances deserve.”

Those final few words from Balogun following his late appearance against Dundalk shine a light on where he feels he should be now, having made such an impression at youth level in the past couple of seasons.

And they paint a picture as to why – with just eight months of his contract remaining at Arsenal – he has yet to sign a new deal with the club he has been with since he the age of 10.

Balogun has immense belief in his ability and has felt for some time now that his progress in north London has not been as fast as he would have liked.

While others such as Reiss Nelson, Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka have been given opportunities in recent seasons to work with and feature with the first-team on a regular basis, Balogun has mainly had to watch on from afar.

That is why talks over extending his contract proved so difficult and why, after months of negotiations, they broke down altogether in the summer.

Prior to that, the Gunners had rejected a £5 million ($6.7m) offer for Balogun from Championship promotion hopefuls Brentford in January, and were hoping at that point that they would be able to reach an agreement with the teenager over extending his stay.


Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal: Aubameyang heaps misery on Solskjaer, secures win

Aubameyang signs new three-year contract with Arsenal

Aubameyang goal earns Arteta’s Arsenal draw at Bournemouth

Copyright DAYBREAK.

All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from DAYBREAK NEWS.

More articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest article