One For The Future

The next Aubameyang: Arsenal U23s striker is destined for the top

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After being praised by Arsenal’s star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last season, it’s only a matter of time until Folarin Balogun is selected to play in the first team.

Balogun, 18, has been in scintillating form for the U18s with six goals already to his name this season, and 25 goals in 19 outings last year. No other player under 18 years of age has scored more in English youth football

The American-born forward has a ruthless edge to him but lacks the physicality to play up front alone at this stage.

His unformidable nature derives from his eye for goal and his clinical finishing, which has been recognised by a familiar face at the club.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang said that “the young boy is fire” towards the end of last season talking about Balogun. The youngster has also admitted that he looks up to the French forward Alexandre Lacazette.

Balogun travelled with the squad to the USA in the summer and was one of several youngsters that put on a show, providing a thrilling glimpse of the future for the football club.

After displaying essential properties for a tricky forward with a quick burst of pace and plenty of precision, it’s easy to see why Balogun is so highly rated at Arsenal. The youngster described himself as someone who likes to play on the shoulder of the last defender.

Along with Bukayo Saka, Balogun is one of the hottest players in the academy and his debut in the first team is not too far away and has similar characteristics to become the next Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Balogun is undecided what country he wants to represent due to his multicultural heritage. His parents were born in Nigeria and the 18-year-old was born in the USA; he has lived in England since he was to years old. He has several youth caps playing for the Three Lions so the fate is still in the youngster’s hand as to who he wishes to represent in the future.

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