Advertiser Disclosure

Folarin Balogun: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

Folarin Balogun: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

Folarin Balogun: Profile

Name: Folarin Balogun

Date of birth: July 3rd, 2001

Nationality: England

Position: Striker

Height: 1.78m

Folarin Balogun: Introduction

It was greatly expected that Folarin Balogun would be leaving Arsenal at the end of the season having failed to agree a new contract with the club.

However, that all changed after it was reported that the 19-year old would be committing his future to The Gunners, sending plenty of expectant and hyped supporters into a state of surprise and delight.

The question will now be, can Balogun move forward into his senior career successfully and take the opportunities likely to present themselves.

Folarin Balogun: Background

Born in New York City, Balogun arrived in the UK and was spotted playing for Sunday League team Aldersbrook. The Gunners moved to snatch him away from their rival Tottenham’s clutches who were also interested in the forward.

Since, he has progressed through the ranks at the club and this season made his senior debut with the club. Balogun is eligible to play for a number of nations on the international stage but is still to decide who he will represent having so far played for both England and the US at youth level.

“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!” he said.

“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.”

His goal records at youth level are what have grown the hype around the forward. For the under-18s at Arsenal he finished the 18/19 season with 25 goals in 19 matches, all the while earning appearances for the under-23s despite his young age.

He was fully promoted in 2019, after signing a professional contract, playing 15 games & scoring 10 goals. He also got called up to the senior squad for the first time under Unai Emery in a 5-0 EFL Cup win over Nottingham Forest where he was an unused substitute.

Folarin Balogun: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

Dublin , Ireland – 10 December 2020; Folarin Balogun of Arsenal during the UEFA Europa League Group B match between Dundalk and Arsenal at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Ben McShane/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

This season, the protracted talks over his future have seemingly had an effect on his game but the goals have still come. 12 in 24 games this season including his first for the senior team.

Expert insight on Folarin Balogun

101 spoke with Arsenal youth football expert Next Generation Arsenal to get his view on Folarin Balogun.

‘One of the main reasons Folarin Balogun’s contract situation garnered so much attention wasn’t just because of his goal record but more so because the young striker has all the tools to be a complete forward. Something that Arsenal don’t really have.

‘At his best he could be described as a typical number nine, stretching the last line of defence with beautifully timed runs, great acceleration and cool finishes. However, there is much more to his game, he loves to drift into the channels and drive at defenders, committing them into uncomfortable scenarios.

‘He also possesses an array of finishes, displaying great composure when going through on goal but he can also hit the ball with exceptional force using either foot. This makes him very unpredictable to opposing Goalkeepers.

‘This season has been difficult under the cloud of the contract saga, but Balogun still managed to develop his game and improve his hold-up play and aerial ability. He found himself in new situations where he wasn’t the furthest player forward and had to play with his back to goal.

‘This enabled the 19-year-old to adjust and adapt to these demands impressively. The news of a contract breakthrough, might just be one of the best deals Arsenal will cut for a long time.’

Tactical Overview of Folarin Balogun

Goals. That is what Balogun is about. The young striker has been a threat in the Arsenal youth setup for some time and it was evident when given his few senior opportunities this season that he yearns to be given the ball in attacking positions.

The below example shows what Next Generation Arsenal was referencing regarding the stretching of opposition defences. He can be seen always calling for the ball and driving at his opponents.

Folarin Balogun: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

Ben Cottrell sees the outstretched arm of Folarin Balogun and plays the defence splitting pass to the striker.

Folarin Balogun: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

Using his pace, Balogun speeds through the Ipswich defence and finishes astutely round the keeper.

This style and desire did not hide away when playing with the senior side. In the match against Dundalk in the Europa League, despite the fact the £72 million Nicolas Pepe was this time the man in possession, Balogun could be seen again demanding the ball.

What followed was excellent movement, perfect timing and a finish which any true Arsenal fan could make the classic link back to the style of one of the all-time great Gunners forwards.

Folarin Balogun: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

Again Balogun seen screaming for the ball, which he receives from Pepe.

Folarin Balogun: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

Finessing the ball round the keeper and in the bottom right corner.

The final showcase of his talents in this brief assortment is his first senior goal. Coming on against Molde just seconds prior, Balogun displayed his intelligence in the box with his run, patience, reading of the game, close control and finally intelligent shot decision making.

Folarin Balogun: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

Seeing the danger progressing down the left. Balogun makes his run into the box.

Folarin Balogun: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

Balogun checks his run knowing that Smile Smith-Rowe would cut the ball back whilst the opposition defenders are caught tracking back.

Folarin Balogun: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

Balogun takes a touch, spins and in the split second, makes the intelligent choice to reverse the shot as the keeper moves across the goal. Scoring on his senior debut seconds after coming on.

Balogun though, as described by Next Generation Arsenal, has needed to add more than simply goals to his game. Working to link-up play and bring teammates into the game has taken on a greater focus over the last couple seasons.

The below examples display his hold up play, decision making regarding his passes and some flair thrown in too.

Folarin Balogun: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

A long ball by Matt Smith is played through to Balogun.

Folarin Balogun: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

Using the run of Tormey, Balogun intelligently uses it to turn the defender.

Folarin Balogun: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

Balogun then uses the run of Cottrell to pause for a pass to Coyle in a much better position.

Despite coming on very late in the match against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup quarter final, Balogun still had time to make an impression with a fine piece of control, dribbling, passing and movement.

Folarin Balogun: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

Anticipating the movement of Kyle Walker, Balogun lifts the ball over the England international.

Folarin Balogun: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

Driving at the City defence, Balogun speeds past the opposition and towards goal.

Folarin Balogun: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

Laying the ball off at the right time for Pepe, Balogun doesn’t wait to watch the play he continues his run outside.

Folarin Balogun: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

Pepe takes the shot on, had he spotted the run of Balogun outside he could have been found in a dangerous position. Balogun’s movement opens up the chance though for Pepe.

Folarin Balogun: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

Smith-Rowe spots the run across the box from Balogun and finds the forward.

Folarin Balogun: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

Smith-Rowe’s run is not ignored by Balogun who, by holding off the defender with his strength, reverses the ball with a skilful backheel.

There is all the hope in the world that Folarin Balogun can become everything that the likes of Eddie Nketiah, Chuba Akpom and Benik Afobe have failed to be. The contract offered to Balogun is sure to have been given with assurances that more first team opportunities will come and then it will be up to him to take those.

Expectation will begin early, it is now up to Balogun to repay the faith the club is showing in him.

Folarin Balogun: Official video

Folarin Balogun: Social sites

Miguel Azeez: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

Joel Lopez: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video


Arsenal betting odds, next game:

Brentford vs Arsenal odds: result, both teams to score, correct score & goalscorers

Brentford vs Arsenal Full time result
Brentford
16/5
Draw
11/4
Arsenal
5/6
Brentford vs Arsenal Result/Both teams score Yes No
Brentford 6/1 13/2
Arsenal 13/5
Draw 7/2 12/1
Brentford vs Arsenal Correct Score
Brentford
Arsenal

Arsenal's latest videos

'I am buzzing to be here!' | Ben White's first interview as an Arsenal player
'I am buzzing to be here!' | Ben White's first interview as an Arsenal player
Our newest signing sits down with Frimmy to discuss his move from Brighton, keeping…
2021-07-30T16:39:43Z
Welcome to The Arsenal, Ben White!
Welcome to The Arsenal, Ben White!
Ben White has joined us from Brighton & Hove Albion on a long-term contract.…
2021-07-30T15:07:17Z
Premier League table
# Team MP D P
1 Leeds United 0 0 0
2 Manchester City 0 0 0
3 Manchester United 0 0 0
4 West Ham United 0 0 0
5 Everton FC 0 0 0
6 Southampton FC 0 0 0
7 Chelsea FC 0 0 0
8 Arsenal FC 0 0 0
9 Newcastle United 0 0 0
10 Leicester City 0 0 0
11 Liverpool FC 0 0 0
12 Aston Villa 0 0 0
13 Tottenham Hotspur 0 0 0
14 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 0 0
15 Crystal Palace 0 0 0
16 Norwich City 0 0 0
17 Watford FC 0 0 0
18 Burnley FC 0 0 0
19 Brighton & Hove Albion 0 0 0
20 Brentford FC 0 0 0
Topscorers
Disciplinary
Assists
Player Team Goals