Interview

'I knew this was the moment I'd been waiting for'

Folarin Balogun became the 876th player to represent us in a first team game after coming off the bench in our 3-0 win over Dundalk on Thursday night.

The 19-year-old forward has forged a reputation as a formidable goalscorer at both under-23 and under-18 level – and was duly rewarded by Mikel Arteta with his first senior minutes.

Here’s what Folarin told us after the game:

on making his debut...
Yeah it feels great. It's a moment I have been waiting for for a little while so to finally get it feels great. I can only thanks Mikel ad the staff for this opportunity and I look forward to doing it more often.

on the journey to get here...
It's been tough, I've been at a few other clubs doing trials and stuff like that but I've been working my way through the academy and I think as time has gone on I've become a better player. I think that's shown in my performances and I think it's good now to get the recognition that my performances deserve.

on being told he's going on...
Loads of emotions really. I knew that this was the moment I'd been waiting for but at the same time I knew there was a job that needed to be done. So I just tried to come on, make runs, be a nuisance and just help the team.

on what the fans can expect from him...
They are going to see lots of energy, and I'd like to say lots of goals. But yeah I think I'd like to carry my performances from the youth team into the first team. That's what got me here so it's important I carry on playing the way I do.

on no fans in the stadium...
Definitely, that was the only thing missing from tonight, the fans. But I'm sure they were supporting from home.

on the group position...
As I said, the boys did well, dealt with the game professionally and I just hope I can get more opportunities and push on from here.

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