Mikel Arteta’s verdict on Folarin Balogun as long-term plan for Arsenal ace emerges
According to sources, Mikel Arteta, the manager of Arsenal, thinks Folarin Balogun would be better suited taking a loan from another team this year. Prior to a rumored transfer to French club Reims, Arteta still considers the striker to be a part of his long-term plans.
Balogun was on loan at Middlesbrough for the second part of the previous campaign. He only managed three goals in 20 appearances for Chris Wilder’s team across all leagues, though.
After making just 10 appearances for the Gunners, the majority of which were as a substitute, it was his first true experience of senior men’s football. And Arteta wants the New York-born star to have more opportunities this year.
According to Sky Sports, the Arsenal manager believes that Balogun would be better off going out on loan this season and that an arrangement with Reims is almost complete. But Arteta still sees him as a component of his future plans.
In 11 appearances for the England under-21 team, Balogun, who was a prolific goalscorer at the youth level, has struck six goals. Due to the absence of Eddie Nketiah, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Alexandre Lacazette in the opening Premier League match of the previous campaign, he took the field.
The addition of Gabriel Jesus and the extension of Nketiah’s contract, however, will probably prevent him from seeing any action at the Emirates for the time being. At the conclusion of the 2020–21 season, Balogun nearly left Arsenal.
European clubs were interested in his contract as it was about to expire. However, Arteta persuaded him to sign a new, four-year contract, keeping him in north London through 2025.
At the time, Arteta gave an explanation of his motivation for keeping the young forward. We have been quite impressed with Flo this season, the Spaniard stated.
“In numerous training sessions with us, he has consistently displayed his innate talent, and we have been equally delighted by his quick absorption into the first-team group on matchdays. He has shown us hints through his performances and, of course, with his two goals for the first team so far.
We are all looking forward to supporting and working with Flo in the years to come. The hard work begins now. If a trade is finalized in time, Balogun might be available for Reims’ opening Ligue 1 game coming Sunday at Marseille.