Nigerian-born youngster Folarin Balogun has gotten off the mark for Arsenal. The 19-year old scored the third just 38 seconds after coming on for Eddie Nketiah as the Gunners defeated Molde 3-0 away from home. The win has taken Arsenal to the second round of the Europa League with two matches left.
The young Balogun has been impressive for Arsenal youth teams. He scored 28 goals in 28 matches last season.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta confirmed yesterday that the club were looking to give Balogun a new deal with the club. The decision marks something of a u-turn for Arsenal, who were almost resigned to losing the teenager in the summer.
Arsenal reportedly rejected a £5million offer from Brentford for the forward in January 2020, while he has also attracted interest from a number of Europe’s top clubs.
He has represented both England and USA at under-18 level and is also eligible to play for Nigeria on the international stage.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted that he made a mistake by leaving William Saliba out of his 25-man squad for the Europa League.
The Spanish manager only has Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel Magalhaes as fit and available centre-backs ahead of the game against Dundalk, with David Luiz joining Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari on the sidelines.
Fellow central defenders Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Saliba are fit but neither can be called upon after being excluded from Arsenal’s European squad, and in the case of the latter Arteta admits he is an option he would like to have had available.
I feel really bad for William Saliba,’ Arteta said. ‘Because we had so many central defenders, we decided to leave him out of the squad which was really hurtful for me to do.
‘I was hoping that Pablo would be back in two weeks but he had a setback and then we don’t have Pablo and we don’t have William when he’s fit and available to play.’ Arteta said.
Saliba joined Arsenal from St Etienne last summer but is yet to feature for the Gunners, appearing on the bench just once this season.