Arsenal sensation Folarin Balogun earns chance to prove first-team credentials

Arsenal’s clinical youngster Folarin Balogun will reportedly stay and compete for a role as Mikel Arteta’s main striker next season.

Balogun signed a contract until 2025 with the North London side late last month after a lengthy saga of persuading the American-born forward to stay.

The Gunners have lacked potency in front of goal in recent seasons and are overly reliant on the out-of-form Aubameyang while scoring only 55 goals during 2020/21, something Balogun has the capacity to change.

The 19-year-old’s ascent to the first-team has been much-anticipated since 2019 and it appears now that Arteta is finally willing to take the gamble on him.

Balogun featured only six times for the first team last season but still managed two goals in the Europa League despite limited opportunities.

Alexandre Lacazette’s future still remains unclear with only one year left on his contract with the club yet to decide whether to cash in or retain his services for another season.

With Eddie Nketiah’s time at Arsenal appearing to be up as well, Balogun is expected to gain more minutes in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, while covering for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the Premier League.

Do you think Balogun is ready to take the step up and replace Lacazette? Let us know in the comments section.

Arsenal recently appeared to have lost out on transfer target Odsonne Edouard to Leicester City, presenting a rare opportunity for the youngster to make the step up.

Balogun will be assessed during pre-season by Arteta and his coaching staff as Arsenal look to use their limited transfer budget to strengthen other positions.

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