Arsenal fans have an interesting theory regarding a potential Premier League debut for Folarin Balogun.
The 19-year-old made quite the impression in the Europa League group phase this season, scoring twice and registering an assist in three substitute appearances.
He’s yet to be given a Premier League debut by Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, who has recently spoken about his confidence in retaining the services of Balogun despite the fact the striker’s contract expires in the summer.
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah all fit and available, first-team chances have been few and far between for Balogun since the turn of the year.
In fact, he’s not made a first-team matchday squad since the Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat at the hands of Manchester City back in December, playing the final 13 minutes of the 4-1 loss.
But could Balogun be handed a surprise opportunity when the Gunners host the same opposition at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon?
Well, some Arsenal fans think this could be the case after noticing that Balogun wasn’t named in the under-23’s team which started against Man City on Friday night.
@ELNENNYYY said: “Balogun starting vs Man City.”
@tv_gooner said: “I’d love to see Balogun at least on the bench tomorrow for the Man City game.”
@MiftariNgadhnim said: “Maybe first-team on Sunday? Nice dream isn’t it.”
@DelmarOwl said: “Hopefully Balogun with 1st team.”
@idontknko said: “This mean Balogun might be in the squad tomorrow?”
It remains to be seen what Arteta does with his attacking options against City, but Balogun has been urged by former Arsenal striker Benik Afobe to leave this summer
“It all depends on your positioning and who’s ahead of you… Balogun, he’s good, I’ve seen him play,” Afobe told The Beautiful Game Podcast.
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“I think it’s the right decision for him to leave. The captain [Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang] is a number nine, the other number nine is top goalscorer this season, [Alexandre] Lacazette, and Eddie Nketiah is a couple of years older than him and has also done well.
“If you want to keep waiting for your chance, before you know it you’re 23, and teams, managers will start picking up players who are more experienced in the Championship, who have 100 appearances to their name, instead of the guy from Arsenal who has played for England Under-19s.
“And that’s kind of what’s happened to me as well.”