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Award-winning Super Eagles candidate reveals inspiration from Cavani and Lewandowski

The youngster has taken the French top division by storm, and more can be expected from one driven by two of the game’s most accomplished strikers

Reims FC forward Folarin Balogun has revealed he draws inspiration from Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski and former Manchester United star Edinson Cavani.

Balogun has been a nightmare for Ligue 1 defenders since arriving at Reins on loan from Arsenal.

The Super Eagles-eligible attacker has netted five goals and two assists in his first seven games in the French top flight.

Three of those goals came in his first three games for Reims, sending Balogun into the French first division record books as the first player to score in his first three Ligue 1 games since 1975.

The accolades have continued to fly in the direction of the 21-year-old, with Arsenal legend Thierry Henry praising him for his goalscoring ability and mindset.

“He’s a very English-style player who likes to run down the channels, but he was missing something, which was his finishing.

“He’s now starting to score goals regularly, and I’m happy for that – happy he has gone abroad. It’s especially so considering he is a Londoner; in general, Londoners struggle to leave London.

“When I heard he was coming to France, it made me think he has a refreshing mindset.”

Last week, the exciting forward was named the winner of Ligue 1’s Best Young Player award for August.

Ouest France also included Balogun on the impressive list of the top revelations in the country.

And Balogun has explained that his improvement has come from modelling his game around two of football’s finest finishers in Uruguay’s Cavani and Poland’s Lewandowski.

“My strengths are my runs and my finishing, but I’m working to improve both, as well as my heading,” Balogun said, as per Ligue 1.

“Edinson Cavani is the player I look up to for his runs in behind. We do a lot of drills in training to develop and enhance our runs.

“I also look to Robert Lewandowski for his finishing, and I go out to training early to work on my own, which will hopefully make everything sharper and more instinctive.”

Balogun will aim to guide Reims to their second league win of the campaign when they trade tackles with Monaco on Saturday.