Folarin Balogun - the latest Hale End golden boy
Folarin Balogun (right) celebrates with Arsenal teammates Nicolas Pepe (left) and Cedric Soares (centre) after scoring his first senior goal for the Gunners

Folarin Balogun is but the latest in a seemingly mile-long conveyor belt from the famed Hale End Arsenal academy that has burst onto the scene for the first team with a terrific performance.

It took just 37 seconds for the youthful striker to score his first senior goal last night in the UEFA Europa League against the Norwegian side Molde FK.

The academy prospect's contract is set to expire at the end of the current campaign. Previously, it appeared the youngster was going to leave at the end of his current deal.

Expiring contract?

But now, Gunners coach Mikel Arteta looks set to enter discussions with Folarin over the potential of a new deal. At just 19 years of age there is real optimism around the club that he could be Arsenal's very own Mason Greenwood.

Alexandre Lacazette's faltering form year by year combined with the belief that fellow compatriot Eddie Nketiah may not be the striker that necessarily suits the North London side.

With three goals and two assists in nine Premier League 2 games - he is not the most prolific of goalscorers. But the striker has the ability on the ball, link-up and hold-up play taboot.

Many within the club believe that Balogun has the potential to usurp both Lacazette and Nketiah and is the heir to the throne that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's departure will leave.

His quotes

"I’m feeling really happy, it shows that all the hard work I’ve put in over the years is just starting to pay off," he told Arsenal media.

Being at the club since 2008, this sentiment mirrors that of fellow Hale End graduate Eddie Nketiah.

For fans it may seem like 37 seconds. But these youngsters have been working on getting that chance their whole lives.

Balogun continued  "It’s important that I keep working hard to enjoy more moments like this... but I always try to stay ready and I’m happy that on this occasion it paid off.''

The youngster seemingly has a humble head on his shoulders. Arsenal captain, Aubameyang, revealed in an interview before the game just how humble and hard working his under-graduate striker is.

Furthermore, Folarin went on to discuss how happy he is with where he is at currently for the Gunners under Arteta...

''It's nice to see the boss showing faith in me. It feels like this is good experience for me, I just need to keep on learning, keep on adding to my game and I’m happy that I could contribute today."

The future

Hopefully his praise for Arsenal manager Arteta is an indicator that he is prepared to sit down to discuss a new deal to extend his time at the club he has been at for 12 years. 

With The Gunners already securing qualification to the knockout stages in Europe and after an impressive cameo last night it is very likely that the youngster gets more chances for the first team in the penultimate two games.

Arsenal fans will be excited to see the prospect get more minutes and kick-on in the first team, potentially leading to game time in the Premier League proper with Nketiah and Lacazette struggling for form.

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