As far as nightmare debuts go, not many will trump Folarin Balogun’s disastrous first start for new club Monaco.
The USMNT striker got his Monaco career fully up and running on Friday after completing a $26million move from Arsenal last month, and there was plenty of expectation following his impressive loan spell with fellow French team Reims last season.
Yet unfortunately for both Balogun and his new employers, his eagerly-awaited full debut did not go to plan.
In the opening 12 minutes of his Monaco bow, the 22-year-old squandered a golden opportunity to net his first goal for the club from the penalty spot.
His weak, low effort was kept out comfortably by Nice goalkeeper Marcin Bulka, coming as a huge blow to the $26m man on his big night in France.
Folarin Balogun missed two penalties in a nightmare full debut for his new club Monaco
However, things soon went from bad to worse for Balogun when Monaco were awarded another penalty 10 minutes into the second half.
After displaying courage in stepping up to the spot for a second time having already been denied, the former Arsenal star’s braveness was not rewarded when Bulka kept his penalty out once again.
The two misses came as a seismic blow to Balogun as he looked to get off the mark for his new team, and to make matters worse they eventually fell to a 1-0 defeat.
Almost 25 minutes after he was substituted, Jeremie Boga netted a stoppage-time winner for Nice to compound Balogun and Monaco’s misery.
Monaco coach Adi Hutter said after the game: ‘[Balogun] was unlucky tonight. He is also very frustrated. He is a young striker and he will help us in the future.
Balogun first stepped up from the spot just 12 minutes into his first start for the French team
But he was denied by Nice goalkeeper Marcin Bulka, missing a chance to net his first goal
The $26m striker then stepped up again 10 minutes into the second half with the score at 0-0
But he could not find a way past Bulka for a second time, coming as a huge frustration
‘We will help him bounce back, but we win together and we lose together.’
Balogun did get on the scoresheet on his very first appearance for the club last week, nevertheless, edging them ahead in an eventual 2-2 draw with Lorient.
But the forward will have to pick himself up after his horror showing on his home bow at Stade Louis II.
He will get the chance to make up for his double-penalty blow when Monaco take on Marseille next Saturday.