Why Swansea City should go all out for Folarin Balogun next month
Thursday, 2nd Dec 2021 12:16 by David Cornish & Keith Haynes
It wasn’t until September that Folarin Balogun got an Arsenal U23 appearance this season. It was the 3-1 home win against Manchester United that he made his first impact this season. United had fielded a strong side to boot. Balogun bagged his first two goals of the season and announced he wanted first team football away from Arsenal if necessary.
That has been his mantra all season. For every goal he scores it reinforces his desire to move away from Arsenal on loan in January. After making six appearances in cup competitions last season, he has played just three times for the first team this term. He finds himself behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette in the pecking order up front.
And we know the swans are keen to discuss move for him to come to SA1 in January, inquiries were made in the summer and the club were tentatively linked a year ago. Now, those links are far more concrete. He has made five European appearances this season scoring two goals.
However, that doesn’t stop him putting in effort and commitment to the U23 cause. His manager Kevin Betsy who travelled through his own long career in the football league knows he has a real talent on his hands. Unfortunately that talent just doesn’t get a look in for the first team. Now today with news of a renewed Arsenal bid for Serbian Dusan Vlahovic at Fiorentina chances are getting slimmer.
After his two goal salvo against Manchester United he knocked another two in against Chelsea a few days later, a week later another two against Brighton, can you see a pattern forming here ? Balogun is quick, direct and has an ability in the penalty area that excites and offers an inevitable ending when he is on the ball. It wasn’t as if this was a golden streak for the striker, since his goals against Manchester United he has scored in ninety percent of the games he featured in, all season. Everton, Leeds, Leicester all in succession saw his name on the score sheet. His last gasp equaliser on ninety seven minutes against Leicester was followed by a last minute winner at Blackburn, Balogun never gives in. His hatrick against a very strong Derby County side really displayed his all round game, his pace and commitment to scoring goals.
All season Balogun, when given the opportunity talks about going on loan to another club. Having just signed a new contract until 2025 with the gunners after months of haggling he has a safety net as well. He is now twenty, keen to develop and very keen to ply his trade elsewhere. As he says “I do feel like I am ready for a new challenge but I am not sure what that might be, it might be a loan or if I am needed at Arsenal then I am here and the gaffer knows that. I am definitely open to a new challenge but it is something that whatever that challenge is I will be ready”
Balogun, I want a new challenge
We decided to look a little deeper into this, and talking with a source close to Elite Project Group, Balogun’s agency and advisors it seems January at last is going to hold the key to the rest of this season for the young American. His agents want him at a club that proves his future is at Arsenal, that offers game time, development and a learning environment. Where else would he get that away from Arsenal than under Russell Martin ?
This young man has a premier league future at the gunners, without doubt, but to get there he needs a loan next month, and the swans as much as anyone out there surely must be very high up on the list of clubs to give him that.
Photographs licensed from Reuters
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