Owen Hargreaves insists Arsenal have a ‘genuine chance’ of winning the Europa League as pundit heaps praise on Gunners youngsters… while Martin Keown compares starlet Folarin Balogun to Ian Wright and Andy Cole
- Owen Hargreaves believes Arsenal can win the Europa League this season
- The Gunners extended their 100 per cent record with a 4-2 win over Dundalk
- Hargreaves and Martin Keown heaped praise on the youngsters coming through
- Former Gunners defender Keown compared Folarin Balogun to Ian Wright
The Gunners travelled to Ireland knowing they had already booked their place in the competition’s knockout stages as Mikel Arteta handed a number of youngsters minutes against their Group B opponents.
And goals from Eddie Nketiah, Mohamed Elneny, Joe Willock and Balogun extended Arsenal’s 100 per cent record in the competition in another positive showing in Europe.
Owen Hargreaves says Arsenal have a ‘genuine chance’ of winning the Europa League
The Gunners swept Dundalk aside 4-2 to extend their 100 per cent record in the competition
Hargreaves insisted that the Premier League side should be strong contenders to win the competition come the end of the season, before heaping praise on the promising players coming through.
‘Arsenal have a genuine chance of winning this competition,’ Hargreaves said on BT Sport. ‘Balogun came on and had a good impact. We’ve seen Willock have a terrific impact in this competition and Saka before.
‘It’s brilliant for these young kids from the academy to come here and play football at this level and this will mean a ton to them. A couple more came on today and showed real quality moments.
Hargreaves and Martin Keown singled out youngster Folarin Balogun for praise on Thursday
The 19-year-old came off the bench and provided a goal and assist against the Irish minnows
Former Gunners defender Keown, meanwhile, lavished praise on Balogun, who impressed once more off the bench for Arteta’s side.
‘I am looking at him and thinking “remember the name” really with the way he looked tonight,’ the Arsenal legend said.
‘The way he linked up, that is a great turn. You try to compare, is it Andy Cole or Ian Wright? There is that sort of movement about him. I know those are big name players and if he can live up to that he will have some career.
Former Gunners defender Keown compared Balogun to legendary Arsenal striker Ian Wright
‘I just like the way he is always looking on the shoulder and his movement. The way he scores the goal, the way he comes onto it he is pointing, give me it, this is my moment.
‘He has had to wait for his opportunity, he is 19 years old and showing really good signs.’
Arteta will be hoping his side’s form in Europe can help change their fortune in the Premier League, with the north London club languishing in 15th position amid murmurings of discontent among supporters.