Monday , May 20 2024

Folarin Balogun joins AS Monaco from Arsenal FC!

AS Monaco have announced the arrival of striker Folarin Balogun from Arsenal FC. The 22-year-old American international has signed a five-season deal and is now tied to Monaco until June 2028.

Born in 2001 in New York, Folarin Balogun moved to London with his family at the age of two. The young Anglo-American grew up in England and began his football career with London club Albersbrook.

A precocious talent, he was soon spotted by Arsenal FC, whom he joined at the age of 8. There, he trained at every youth level from 2009 to 2019, before signing his first professional contract at the age of 17.

After spending a season with Arsenal FC’s reserves (from 2019 to 2020), Folarin made his first-team debut on October 29, 2020 in an UEFA Europa League match against Irish side Dundalk FC. Shortly afterwards, still in Europe, the 1.78m striker scored his first professional goal against Norwegian club Mölde FK.

He played a further eight games for the Gunners before joining Middlesbrough FC on loan in the winter of 2022 for the second half of the season. With ‘Boro’, Folarin made 18 Championship appearances (3 goals, 3 assists). That year, Folarin and his teammates had an excellent run in the FA Cup. They eliminated Manchester United and then Tottenham Hotspur to reach the quarterfinals of the competition.

After that experience at Middlesbrough, Folarin joined Stade de Reims on loan and discovered Ligue 1 Uber Eats. In Champagne, the American had a convincing season (22 goals and 6 assists in 39 games), earning him several UNFP Player of the Month nominations.

Thanks to his speed, technical ability and skill in front of goal, he contributed to an impressive run by Stade de Reims (19 games unbeaten), by scoring a hattrick against FC Lorient in a match in which his team was trailing 2-0 (the final result was 4-2), and by scoring the equaliser in the 96th minute against Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes (1-1).

A regular in the youth England national teams, where he played 28 games and scored 10 goals, Folarin later decided to play for the United States. Last June, the Brooklyn native received his first call-up to the US national team and played in the final stages of the CONCACAF Nations League.

After eliminating Mexico in the semifinals (3-0), the American players won the final against Canada (2-0), a match in which Folarin scored his first goal and won his first title with Team USA.

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