Folarin Balogun wins Premier League 2 Player of the Month award

Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun has been named the Premier League 2 Player of the Month for November 2021.

The 20-year-old, an American-born striker who joined Arsenal’s Academy in 2012, earns the award after scoring six goals and producing an assist in four matches across all competitions.

Five of those goals came in Premier League 2, taking his tally in Division 1 to a league-high 13 in 2021/22.

Balogun’s November haul began with a goal in the EFL Trophy against Plymouth Argyle, before a prolific run in three Premier League 2 matches.

He provided an assist and snatched the equaliser as Arsenal scored three goals in stoppage time to draw 3-3 with Leicester City.

Then he then struck a late winner in a 3-2 victory at Blackburn Rovers before finishing November with a hat-trick in a a 5-3 home loss to Derby County.

This season Balogun has moved clear as the top scorer in Premier League 2’s history since it launched in 2016/17, with his 35 goals eight clear of Arsenal team-mate Eddie Nketiah and Stoke City’s Tyrese Campbell in joint-second.

He topped a eight-man shortlist that included Ziyad Larkeche (Fulham), Sonny Perkins (West Ham United), Luke Plange (Derby), Jesurun Rak-Sakyi (Crystal Palace), Jon Rowe (Norwich City), Thierry Small (Southampton) and Harvey White (Tottenham Hotspur)

He was selected as winner by the Premier League Football Development Panel after Premier League 2 club coaches chose the best performance by an opposing player in each of their league matches during the month.

He is the second Nigeria-born player to win the award after Aston Villa’s Caleb Chukwuemeka who was named September’s best player in the division.

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