Arsenal U18s are determined to win the league title this season and if they do manage to achieve that objective then Folarin Balogun will certainly deserve much praise.
The striker is the current top scorer in the division having hit a hugely impressive 16 goals in 13 league games, with his hat-trick in the 6-2 victory at home to Norwich City today providing another reminder of the quality that he possesses.
A fast and skilful player, Balogun has consistently impressed for the U18s, as demonstrated by the fact that he has scored 26 goals in 33 games at that level.
In truth, the youngster surpassed U18 football some time ago, but the presence of the likes of Eddie Nketiah and Tyreece John-Jules has meant that Balogun hasn’t got much of a look in at U23 level, making just ten appearances.
Next season that should change, however, with Nketiah unlikely to still be playing in the U23s, and Balogun recently received a major boost as he signed his first professional contract with the club.
Balogun will be eager to help the U18s win the league this season – they are top of the table, one point ahead of their closest challengers Tottenham but having played a game more.
The youngster could be forgiven, though, for thinking ahead to next season, when he will no longer be eligible to play for the U18s and will instead be part of the U23 squad.
Working under the guidance of Freddie Ljungberg, should he remain in charge, would be hugely beneficial for Balogun’s development, with the Swede having already helped to bring the best out of several players, including Joe Willock.
This season has been excellent from Balogun’s perspective but there is still time to fit in more achievements, and he will be looking to score his first goal for the U23s to stand him in good stead for next season.