Who is Folarin Balogun?
Folarin Balogun is an English professional footballer who plays for the English side, Arsenal Football Club. He was born to Nigerian parents who lived in New York City. When he was two years old, his parents relocated to London. He joined Arsenal Academy six years after moving to England when he was just eight years old. He would have as well signed for Tottenham Hotspur but fate.
He grew up in the academy spending over a decade with the London side. He has gradually grown from being an Arsenal academy player to a senior team player at age 19. He is now 20 years without encouraging game time. The prolific striker would have thrived but for the presence of the unrelenting goal poacher, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Aubameyang was also the captain of the side.
As a result of this, Folarin has managed a place so far with the U23 and U21 sides, ranking well above 100% in terms of goal-to-game ratio at both levels. In the 2021-2022 season, he has appeared 11 times for the U23 side, finding the back of the net 13 times and 2 times for the U21 side with two goals according to transfermarkt.
Folarin Balogun penned a long-term professional contract with the Emirate side in April and has since his first appearance in the 2019 Europa League, managed two appearances with a total time play of 70minutes. In a quest to get a regular playing time for himself, which would aid his development, he has been tipped for a loan move in January.
The striker has admitted that he could be forced to seek a temporary exit from the Emirates Stadium to find regular first-team football.
“I feel like I am ready for a new challenge.”
“I feel like I have played youth football for a while. I’ve scored goals at that level and improved at that level drastically compared to now. At the same time, I am not sure what that challenge might be.
“It might be a loan, or if I am needed at Arsenal I am here and the gaffer knows that as well.”
Should Folarin Balogun be invited to the Super Eagles now?
It is quite understandable that in recent times, Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) has lost great talents of the country’s descent to other countries of the world. The likes of Dele Alli, Tammy Abraham, Bukayo Saka, David Alaba, Tomori among others are great players that pledged their allegiance to other countries of the world. Their performances at the national team level have earned their countries some accolades and honors. However, the national team has been circumventing at the same spot.
The recent introduction of a new gaffer for the country will surely lead to a reshuffling of the national team. Augustine Eguavon will be looking at making his mark as the interim manager. Additionally, the injury of some key players like Victor Osimhen could translate into a rare opportunity for the Nigeria prodigy.
The prolific striker has not been tight-lipped about his availability for the Super Eagles when he said,
“I haven’t yet declared who I will commit to internationally. I was born in New York, so can play for the USA. My parents were born in Nigeria and I have been in England since I was two years old, so I can play for both those countries too! I have several youth caps playing for England and I enjoy their style of play which is similar to Arsenal’s. I will be discussing matters with my parents and will then decide.”
|2021-2022 Season||Appearance||Goals||Percentage %|
|Arsenal Senior Team||2|
The African Nations Cup is around the corner. What do you think about the inclusion of Folarin Balogun in the squad as early as now before he gets hijacked by the football powerhouse where he has featured in all their developmental levels of national football?