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Folarin Balogun sends clear message to Arteta & Arsenal following FA Cup exit

Folarin Balogun sends clear message to Arteta & Arsenal following FA Cup exit

Holders crash out

The Gunners were of course back in FA Cup action a short time ago, in a meeting with Southampton at St. Mary’s.

Arteta’s men headed into proceedings brimming with confidence, on the back of 5 wins from their last 6 across all competitions, the latest of which saw the north Londoners make short work of Newcastle, by 3 goals to nil.

When all was said and done this afternoon, though, Arsenal were brought firmly back down to earth.

A weakened XI, missing the likes of Kieran Tierney, Bukayo Saka, Thomas Partey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, was eventually put to the sword by a solitary goal.

The game’s telling moment arrived midway through the first-half, when Kyle Walker-Peters’ driven delivery from the right was directed into the bottom corner of Bernd Leno’s goal by the unfortunate Gabriel:

As such, Arsenal’s defence of their FA Cup drown has come to an end, with little more than a whimper.

Balogun’s message

Key to the struggles of the visitors at St. Mary’s this afternoon was a lack of cutting edge.

The Gunners, for the most part, toiled in their efforts to break down a stout Southampton backline, with the only clear-cut chance to have fallen the way of Arteta’s men having been superbly kept out by Fraser Forster:

As outlined above, though, one individual who evidently feels as though he could have made the difference in Arsenal’s efforts to get on the scoresheet on Saturday, if handed the chance, is Folarin Balogun.

Much has of course been made of youngster Balogun’s future of late, with the 19-year-old, despite being held in high regard at the Emirates, expected to depart as a free agent this summer.

Balogun was in action last night, showcasing his talents in front of goal with an impressive hat-trick for Arsenal’s U23 side versus Brighton.

And, less than an hour removed from the club’s senior outfit being ousted from the FA Cup this afternoon, the English youth international took to social media, to send a clear-as-day message to not only the club, but Mikel Arteta.

Balogun posted a clip of one of his three goals netted against Brighton, hinting that he could have provided a similarly telling contribution at St. Mary’s:

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City FC 32 44 74
2 Manchester United FC 31 27 63
3 Leicester City FC 31 18 56
4 West Ham United FC 31 12 55
5 Chelsea FC 31 19 54
6 Liverpool FC 31 16 52
7 Tottenham Hotspur FC 31 17 49
8 Everton FC 30 3 48
9 Arsenal FC 31 8 45
10 Leeds United 31 0 45
11 Aston Villa FC 30 10 44
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 31 -10 38
13 Crystal Palace FC 31 -19 38
14 Southampton FC 31 -17 36
15 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 31 -5 33
16 Burnley FC 31 -17 33
17 Newcastle United FC 31 -19 32
18 Fulham FC 32 -18 26
19 West Bromwich Albion 31 -31 24
20 Sheffield United FC 31 -38 14
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Topscorers
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Player Team Goals
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 19
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 19
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 16
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 14
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 14
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 14
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 13
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 12
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 12
Gundogan, Ilkay Manchester City FC 12
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 10
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 10
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 9
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 9
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City FC 9
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 9
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Soucek, Tomas West Ham United FC 9
Pereira, Matheus West Bromwich Albion 8