Mikel Arteta’s verdict on Folarin Balogun as long-term plan for Arsenal ace emerges

Arsenal: Folarin Balogun reacts to making his debut for the club

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta believes Folarin Balogun will be better off leaving the club on loan this season, reports say. Arteta still sees the striker as part of his long-term plans ahead of a reported move to French side Reims.

Balogun spent the second half of last season on loan at Middlesbrough. However, he scored just three goals in 20 appearances in all competitions for Chris Wilder’s side.

It was his first proper taste of senior men’s football after making just 10 appearances for the Gunners, most of which as a substitute. And Arteta is keen for the New York-born ace to get more of an opportunity this season.

Sky Sports says the Gunners boss believes Balogun will be better served heading out on loan this term and an agreement is close to being struck with Reims. But Arteta still views him as a part of his plans in the future.

Transfer news LIVE: Chelsea double deal, Man Utd’s De Jong message, Arsenal’s four targets

Balogun has been a prolific goalscorer at youth level and has netted six times in 11 caps for the England under-21s. He started the first Premier League game of last season due to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah all being unavailable.

But the arrival of Gabriel Jesus and renewal of Nketiah’s contract would likely starve him of game time at the Emirates for the time being. Balogun came close to leaving Arsenal at the end of the 2020/21 season.

His contract was coming to an end and was receiving interest from clubs across Europe. However, Arteta convinced him to put pen to paper on a new four-year deal to keep him in north London until 2025.

DON’T MISS
Chelsea prepare Cucurella swap as Brighton star ‘wants to join’ Blues
‘Taught him that!’ Ella Toone brilliant swipe at Harry Kane
Man Utd ‘want five more signings’ as Romero latest emerges

Arteta explained at the time why he was so keen to keep the young forward. The Spaniard said: “We have been extremely impressed with Flo this season.

“He has continually shown his natural ability in many training sessions with us and we have been equally impressed with his early integration into the first-team squad on matchdays. He has given us glimpses with the performances and of course with his two goals already for the first team.

“The hard work starts here for Flo and we are all looking forward to supporting and working with him in the years to come.” Balogun could be in contention for Reims’ first match of the Ligue 1 season this Sunday away at Marseille if a deal is completed in time.

Source: Read Full Article