Folarin Balogun scored from distance against Premier League 2 league leaders Chelsea on Monday, his first goal in the competition after injury.
Arsenal academy striker Folarin Balogun had an incredible season in 2018/19. He scored 28 goals at u18 level, three with the u19s and one for the u23s (in just 80 minutes at that level). As well as those 32 goals, he assisted seven and won five penalties.
After turning 18 in the summer, Balogun stepped up to the u23s permanently this season. Things started well, with seven goals and four assists in 10 games, but then injury struck. He missed around six weeks of football with an ankle problem at the end of 2019.
Within 20 minutes of his return, Balogun already added to his tally. He provided an assist for a Tyreece John-Jules winner off the bench against Dinamo Zagreb u23s. The teenager also scored an excellent goal against Leicester in the PL International Cup.
In the league, however, Balogun went on a drought (by his standards). He failed to score in three starts against Derby, Everton and Liverpool at the beginning of the year.
To be fair, he didn’t play badly in those games. He just didn’t finish the chances like he usually does. He changed that on Monday night with a curling effort from way out:
Another game, another goal 🔥
— Arsenal Academy (@ArsenalAcademy) February 18, 2020
In total, that brings Balogun to 14 goal contributions in 17 appearances (14 starts) in all competitions. A more than solid record for a first full season in the u23s. There’s still plenty of time to add to that in the coming months too.