When Folarin Balogun found the net for Arsenal against Molde last night it was a significant moment not just for himself but also for the club’s academy as a whole.
Whatever circumstances the club finds themselves in, the production line of prospects hoping for opportunities to impress continues.
Balogun has seized his chance and will now be aiming for further involvement as he looks to push ahead in his development after excelling at youth level.
The striker’s impact will also serve as an inspiration to some of the younger players in the academy, especially those who play in the same position as him.
Khayon Edwards, a 17-year-old first-year scholar, will certainly have been inspired by Balogun’s efforts.
Edwards, who usually plays up front but is also capable of playing on the right wing if required, has scored three goals in eight appearances for the U18s so far this season.
In addition, Edwards made his debut for the U23s as a substitute in the comprehensive victory against Blackburn Rovers, while he was also named on the bench in the EFL Trophy.
Having seen Balogun receive chances in the first-team, Edwards will know that if he continues to progress then he could well be in a similar situation in a couple of years, or perhaps even sooner.
Like Balogun, Edwards has impressive technique in addition to being clinical in front of goal. Now he will have extra belief that he will eventually be able to be involved with the first-team.