Monaco will help Balogun 'reach the next level' says sporting director Scuro

By Sports Desk September 07, 2023

Monaco's sporting director Thiago Scuro believes the Ligue 1 club is the perfect place for Folarin Balogun to "reach the next level".

Balogun joined Monaco in a move potentially worth £34.4million in August, with Arsenal electing to cash in on the United States forward.

Speaking to Stats Perform at the Thinking Football Summit in Porto, Scuro outlined his confidence that Balogun and Monaco will be the perfect match.

"He's a young and top-talented striker, who had a very strong season in Ligue 1 last season," Scuro said.

"So he's fully adapted to the league, and [we are] fully confident about what he can do in the league. Now it's our job to help him reach the next level in his career, as he is recently an international for the US.

"He's a young player with an Arsenal academy profile, which [means] he brings very, very good and strong skills with him."

Balogun, who came on from the bench to make his Monaco debut in a 3-0 win over Lens on Saturday, is set to compete with Wissam Ben Yedder for a starting spot.

"We are excited to have him on board competing now with Ben Yedder, who is a legend at the club and the top scorer," Scuro added.

"Internal competition is one of the concepts that I truly believe [is key] for success."

Balogun netted 21 goals in 37 Ligue 1 appearances while on loan at Reims last season. Only Kylian Mbappe (29), Alexandre Lacazette (27) and Jonathan David (24) scored more times in France's top flight.

Monaco have enjoyed a flying start to the new season, winning three of their four Ligue 1 games. No team in Europe's top five leagues has scored more goals than the 13 managed by Adi Hutter's side.

"I think the playing idea and Adi Hutter's playing style, which is very offensive, very aggressive when we don't have the ball, very aggressive when we have the ball, and the players' commitment to this, is, of course, also very key," Scuro said.

"Considering the quality of our players, we are going to score. The challenge is also that this model also drives you to be very exposed [defensively]. That's why defending together and working hard is important."

Despite Monaco's strong start, Scuro is not getting carried away.

"Of course, it is good to start in a good place and in a good position, because it brings confidence and brings good energy to the daily routine," he added.

"But it's only the beginning. What matters in football is how you finish, not how you start. So we are very happy to have a good start, but we also know that it's a long journey, with a lot to do, and we still have to improve our performance in so many areas.

"This is our focus. It has to be. Taking care of the details, which is going to make us stronger for the next stage."

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