Ex-Arsenal American striker scrutinises own relatively underwhelming performances for AS Monaco after netting brace

Ex-Arsenal American striker scrutinises own relatively underwhelming performances for AS Monaco after netting brace

Mark Kinyanjui 17:36 - 31.03.2024

The United States striker has struggled to replicate the impact he had for Stade Reims last year for Monaco, scoring just eight goals since signing from Arsenal in the summer.

Since his summer move to AS Monaco, American striker Folarin Balogun has encountered his fair share of challenges, but the USMNT forward's recent performance suggests that he is ready to rise above adversity.

In a thrilling match against FC Metz on Saturday, Balogun showcased his potential by scoring his first brace for Les Monégasques in a resounding 5-2 victory. However, the ambitious young striker believes there is more to come from him.

"I am happy to have helped the team. I expect more from myself," Balogun expressed after his impressive display. Despite netting his seventh and eighth goals for Monaco, he remains driven to push himself further. 

"Of course, I’m happy for the team, but I want to quickly get back, recover, and prepare for the next match as best as possible.

“I’m not disappointed, but I expected more from myself, and in the next match, I hope to do better," he added in an interview with Prime Video Sport.

Balogun's journey to Monaco was paved with success, as evidenced by his remarkable goal-scoring record of 22 goals in 39 appearances for Stade de Reims last year. 

While this form did not secure him a spot in Mikel Arteta's plans at Arsenal, it caught the attention of Monaco, who invested approximately €30 million in the promising forward.

However, transitioning to a new club has presented Balogun with numerous challenges, including adapting to a different play style and managing the demands of international travel during breaks.

Despite these obstacles, the 22-year-old remains determined to make his mark at Monaco and elevate his game to new heights.

Monaco manager Adi Hütter has shown confidence in Balogun's abilities, acknowledging the need for patience and adaptation in a young player's career. 

"He has to adapt. He’s a young player that I have spoken with a lot. In a career, you’re not always at your best peak, so we have to accept this. 

“Everyone can see he can do better. I am happy with him. He’s a very professional player. He does everything in possession. This is football sometimes," Hütter remarked in a press conference earlier this year.

As Balogun continues to navigate the challenges of professional football, his determination and professionalism shine through. With his eyes set on continuous improvement, he is poised to make a significant impact on the pitch for Monaco and beyond.

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