Folarin Balogun has sent a serious message to Arsenal by sharing the highlight goal from his hat-trick for the Under-23s side last night just as the Gunners’ first-team have been beaten by Southampton.
Balogun was left to dominate at a level which is clearly and respectfully not challenging enough for him on Friday night, instead of being handed a chance to be part of the first-team this afternoon.
The 19-year-old bagged a hat-trick in a 5-0 win against Brighton last night, with the Arsenal academy account perhaps foolishly deciding to share the clip while the first-team were losing.
There’s only footage of this particular goal from the night so far, but what a mighty fine one it is. Balogun collected the ball deep and started a mazy run that ended with a fine goal.
Balogun fooled two Brighton players with one flip-flap style piece of skill, before knocking it past another Seagull and playing a one-two with Miguel Azeez.
Balogun looked ice-cold as the ball rolled into the box and he tucked it into the back of the net with a lovely finish.
Now the ace, who is free to leave this summer after rejecting contract offers from Arsenal, has shared the clip on his personal Twitter account just after the first-team’s loss to Southampton was confirmed.
Interestingly, Balogun has not quoted the Arsenal academy’s tweet or used the feature to post it with reference to the initial upload, instead sharing the footage himself.
— Balogun (@fbalogun67) January 23, 2021
— Arsenal Academy (@ArsenalAcademy) January 23, 2021
Pictures from Arsenal.
Some Arsenal fans plead with the club to tie him down to a new deal after his exploits last night, but a continued lack of first-team action will not help their efforts at all.
Balogun’s last outing for Mikel Arteta’s senior side was a cameo in the embarrassing Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester City.
Spades of fans effectively bid farewell to the ace when he wasn’t afforded an opportunity in the opening FA Cup tie against Newcastle, with some of those notions clear today as well.
The worst thing is that Balogun could’ve featured in some capacity if he was just part of the matchday squad this afternoon, as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had to withdraw due to a personal matter.
Balogun has made five appearances for the first-team, all coming off of the bench and all but one of which coming in the Europa League that matched Arsenal with respectfully much lesser opposition.
The ace has still contributed two goals and an assist despite just 74 minutes of action, unfortunately those promising signs have not afforded him any real chances to impress for the senior side.
Balogun has scored 38 goals and contributed eight assists in 41 appearances for Arsenal’s Under-23s side, as impressive as that figure is – it’s shameful that it hasn’t been met with more opportunities for the first-team and the Gunners may only have themselves to blame if he decides to leave.
Continuing to dominate at Under-23s level is not going to kickstart Balogun’s professional career, regular action obviously will – he shouldn’t be vilified if he decides to leave.