AS Monaco and USMNT striker Folarin Balogun has revealed how Nigerian stars Alex Iwobi and Chuba Akpom inspired him during his days in the Arsenal academy.
Balogun is one of the most expensive players Arsenal has sold. The 22-year-old striker joined French Ligue 1 side AS Monaco on a five-year deal worth about €40m (£34.4m) after a successful season with Stade de Reims, where he scored 22 goals.
Before earning opportunities with the Arsenal senior team, Balogun was impressive for Arsenal’s youth team and consistently delivered strong performances. His performances earned him a promotion to the first team, and he made a significant impact on loan at Reims last season.
In a YouTube video, the Nigerian-born American striker Balogun reflected on his time at Arsenal academy and revealed the players who served as sources of inspiration for him and his relationship with his teammates.
Read alsoAlex Iwobi joins Fulham in £22m deal
“Before you mention them because I went there when I was about 10 years old, so the older boys for me were Chuba Akpom and Alex Iwobi, who inspired me, ” Balogun said on ESPN YouTube channel.
“Going there as a young player was daunting, you didn’t really think these guys were real and they were breaking into the first team and they are from the same area, like Chuba is from East London, that’s where I’m from so it’s nice to have them before you do it and of course you take inspiration.
“You want to be better than them so as time went on, obviously playing at a top-level team people go out, people go in.”
The young striker has also started the new season in blistering form, scoring three goals and one assist in five Ligue 1 matches.
Born on July 3, 2001, in New York City to a Nigerian father. Balogun represented England at the Youth level but has made up his mind to represent his country of birth, the USA.