Folarin Balogun taking ‘huge inspiration’ from Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka in bid for first-team role

Folarin Balogun
Balogun signed a new deal on Monday (Picture: Getty)

Folarin Balogun says will take huge inspiration from Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka in his bid to become a first-team regular at Arsenal.

Balogun signed a new long-term deal with the Gunners on Monday, ending speculation linking him with a move away from north London.

The 19-year-old has made six appearances for the club this season, five of those in the Europa League, and is now setting his sights on becoming a first-team regular under Mikel Arteta.

And in fellow academy products Smith Rowe and Saka, two of Arsenal’s standout players this season, he believes he has the perfect example to follow.

‘Bukayo and Emile have shown me that if you just stick at something for long enough, eventually it will pay off,’ Balogun told Arsenal Media.

Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka
Saka and Smith Rowe leading the way for Balogun (Picture: Getty)

‘I take huge inspiration from them. I thought both of them seemed ready when they were called up each and every time.

‘I thought they definitely prepared, not just physically but also mentally, for the challenges. I think that’s something I’ve learned from them.’

Balogun has also been getting advice from the ‘striker’s union’ at The Emirates, with Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Eddie Nketiah offering words of wisdom.

‘Every time I come over, all the lads are friendly but in particular I would say the strikers’ union [have helped me most]. Laca, Auba, Eddie, we all talk, we all get along and laugh.

‘They’re just continuously trying to give me little tips here and there, things to help me improve my game. That’s good to see.’

MORE : Folarin Balogun explains decision to sign new Arsenal deal as contract saga finally ends

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