Arsenal starlet Folarin Balogun thanks fans after 2-goal night in U23 fixture

Folarin Balogun sends message to Arsenal fans after netting brace vs Brighton U23s

Folarin Balogun thanks fans with two-goal display against Brighton

While Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette failed to dent Graham Potter’s Brighton earlier tonight, Arsenal U23 starlet Folarin Balogun enjoyed yet another top class display for Kevin Betsy’s side on Saturday, against the Seagulls’ equivalent outfit.

The New York-born England U21 international put on another show for the few in attendance at the Emirates, but was thankful for those that continued to show their support. Whether the show of thanks was genuine or a shot of sarcasm given the minuscule turn out at the home fixture remains to be seen.

Betsy’s U23s ran out 3-0 winners, with the two-goal effort from Balogun sandwiching a strike from midfielder Salah Oulad M’Hand, who scored for the second consecutive match as the former Feyenoord youth product continues to enjoy life in north London after arriving last summer.

The match day XI also featured highly-touted midfield pair Charlie Patino and Omari Hutchinson, as well as Danish youth international Mika Biereth.

A future that remains uncertain

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta came under criticism for his handling of academy product Balogun – and other strikers – recently, from none other than the player’s brother, who went on the offensive against the Spaniard, questioning the tactical schematics at the Emirates.

Folarin Balogun sends message to Arsenal fans after netting brace vs Brighton U23s

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND – APRIL 14: Flo Balogun of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on April 14, 2021 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

In the two appearances Balogun made before his stint with the first-team this season hit the wall, the England youth international hardly had a sniff at goal, and was largely left isolated up top.

This is in stark contrast to how Balogun operates for the U23s, and his 6-goals in just four appearances in the Premier League 2 – where Arsenal sit second, one point behind Manchester City – is proof that the club have a bright young talent on their hands who nevertheless may not have a defined pathway into the first-team in the long term.

This article was edited by
Conor Laird.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Liverpool FC 6 11 14
2 Manchester City 6 11 13
3 Chelsea FC 6 10 13
4 Manchester United 6 8 13
5 Everton FC 6 5 13
6 Brighton & Hove Albion 6 3 13
7 West Ham United 6 5 11
8 Aston Villa 6 2 10
9 Brentford FC 6 3 9
10 Arsenal FC 6 -5 9
11 Tottenham Hotspur 6 -5 9
12 Watford FC 6 -2 7
13 Leicester City 6 -3 7
14 Wolverhampton Wanderers 6 -2 6
15 Crystal Palace 6 -3 6
16 Southampton FC 6 -3 4
17 Newcastle United 6 -7 3
18 Leeds United 6 -8 3
19 Burnley FC 6 -6 2
20 Norwich City 6 -14 0
Player Team Goals
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 5
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 5
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 5
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 4
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 4
Sarr, Ismaila Watford FC 4
Townsend, Andros Everton FC 3
Benrahma, Said West Ham United 3
Gray, Demarai Everton FC 3
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 3
Lukaku, Romelu Chelsea FC 3
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 3
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 3
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 3
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 3
Hwang, Hee-chan Wolverhampton Wanderers 3
Raphinha Leeds United 3
Greenwood, Mason Manchester United 3
Doucoure, Abdoulaye Everton FC 2
Saint-Maximin, Allan Newcastle United 2

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