The Premier League announced their nominees for the PL2 January Player of the Month award on Monday, and for the third time in a row, an Arsenal player was involved.
Nikolas Duus Möller earned a nomination in November, whilst Folarin Balogun got one in December. The pair missed out on the actual awards to Liam Delap (Manchester City) and Lewis Bate (Chelsea) respectively.
Balogun has another chance this month, making the latest shortlist for January.
He joins Louie Barry (Aston Villa), Ethan Bristow (Reading), Kion Etete (Tottenham Hotspur), Rhys Hughes (Everton), Joe Hugill (Manchester United), and Jacob Wakeling (Leicester City).
The Arsenal youth striker only featured twice in January, but he had an excellent game against Brighton, scoring a hat-trick and assisting one further goal. The second match didn’t go so well, as he blanked in a draw against Spurs.
Still, the Brighton performance was certainly enough to deserve a nomination.
Louie Barry is possibly the favourite for the award this month, having scored four goals in two PL2 games and also netting in a senior match against Liverpool in the FA Cup – senior performances are taken into consideration. But we’ll see what happens.
Balogun’s future remains undecided due to his expiring contract, with the most likely scenario that he departs on a free transfer this summer. Rumours suggest he won’t play in the Arsenal first-team unless he extends his deal.
For now, after a couple of games without a goal against Spurs and Chelsea, Balogun has another big u23 fixture to try and get back on track as Arsenal travel to Manchester United on Friday at 19:00.