Folarin Balogun says he’s ‘enjoying every minute’ of his loan spell with Middlesbrough, especially as the Championship side’s FA Cup run has afforded him several opportunities against Premier League opposition.
Balogun moved to the Riverside in January to gain more experience of senior football and, after an understated start, has come to the fore in recent weeks.
Two goals in three games, the latest a fine finish at Birmingham City (see below), has seen the England under-21 international stake his claim for a starting berth against Chelsea this weekend.
Off the back of wins over Manchester United and Sp*rs, Chris Wilder’s side are challenging for a first FA Cup semi-final since 2006.
Goal. Balogun. What a finish. Get in. 2-0. pic.twitter.com/8K71b11uee
— Canadian Boro Fans (@boro_games) March 15, 2022
“It’s my first loan spell. It’s obviously very different to how I grew up in the academy at Arsenal but I’m enjoying every minute of it,” Balogun told BBC Radio Tees.
“There is just so many things that I wasn’t aware of. I wasn’t in the environment to learn, as in playing men’s football, so I think now that I have that opportunity I am just trying to absorb as much as I can.”
He added: “My first start was at Manchester United in the FA Cup so you can’t really ask for more in terms of a stage to play on. Then we had Tottenham at Teesside, we obviously got the result there.
“Then we’ve got Chelsea this Saturday so that is obviously great that I am able to still play against these teams on my loan spell this deep into the season and with the league games as well. So it’s really good.”
Having signed a new long-term deal with the club last year, Balogun is expected to be part of Arsenal’s first team squad next season. It remains to be seen how much responsibility he’s given; much will depend on the futures of Alex Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah and what any new arrivals bring to the table.
In the meantime, we look forward to watching him against Thomas Tuchels bus boys.
Love to see more Hale Enders coming through!
Love this kid
Great news! I wonder if another loan next year wouldn’t be a good idea though, as although he seems to be learning a lot from this one, 6 months is a rather short time to become the complete striker we need.
I think it all depends on 3 things. Where on the pitch martinelli is playing next season, who we buy in the window and lacas contract.
I think a loan with one of the newly promoted teams next season would be ideal for his development.
Laca staying for another year would be the best option to allow Balogun to have another loan.
Not sure I see Martinelli playing up front next season, he’s been very efficient on the left lately, but I guess it will indeed depend on the CF we sign.
It’s taken him a little while to get up terms with men’s football.
If Brighton were interested, I’d send him there, as opposed to a team potentially coming up being in a relegation scrap
Give him chances, he’ll score them
Let him stay there for another season like Saliba. He will learn a lot and be ready after that
No brainer for me, if he is to have a future at Arsenal, his loan needs to be extended for another full year
I also agree, because i hope we reach a CL spot.
If we are in the Europa League, he could play a few matches in the winter months (Carrabao cup and Europe) and then perhaps go on loan again in January, depending on circumstances.
Europa matches will be a good one but for his development, nothing beats regular game time he is getting now. He is very young, he has time to come to the fore at Arsenal. His development needs to be nurtured just like we did for ESR and doing for Saliba.
Him staying at Boro would be ideal, and I think they are open to the idea. Unless of course, we manage a loan in the Premier League, but he might struggle dor game time.
Him staying at Boro would be ideal, and I think they are open to the idea. Unless of course, we manage a loan in the Premier League, but he might struggle for game time.
Remember when Mendieta played for Boro and they beat Fergie’s United 4-1? How I cheered. I hated United with a passion in those days.
The Tuchel Bus Boys lmfao
Bus boys.. lol
We’re definitely in Saliba territory here.
Another year out on loan to get him up to speed. 👍
Wow hadn’t clicked that Boro had Manure, Spuds and now Chelski! What a cup run. Hope they go all the way
Well done Ben Knapper(?) the loans manager, he identified the right club who also had the right fixtures for someone with Balogun potential and stage of development
It’s about time. We’ve always had talented kids coming through the academy
The list is endless of youngsters we’ve let go. Gnarby, Bennacer, Malen, The Jeff, Musah
It’s good to see the club getting things right. Hopefully Patino gets a loan move next season