Monday, October 2, 2023

Update On The Future Of This Arsenal Forward: What Should Arteta Do?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent interview (via, journalist Ben Jacobs offered an update on the future of Arsenal forward Folarin Balogun. Jacobs said,

“I think that [Folarin] Balogun is obviously still one to watch.

“We know that Inter [Milan] have been interested in him having given up on Romelu Lukaku.

“Arsenal’s valuation for Balogun rightly so has gone up significantly and that is because he had a fantastic season last campaign and Balogun has made it clear, he’s said it on record that he’s not prepared to go out on loan.

“Which is a shame for Arsenal because they are almost certain if Balogun said to [Mikel] Arteta, ‘Loan me out and I’ll come back in a year’, then that would be Arsenal’s preference.

“So, we now have to wait and see how that one is going to progress.

“It might have something in the region of £45m to make a deal for Balogun.”

Balogun’s Impressive Loan Spell In French Football

Balogun had a great loan spell at Stade Reims last season as he produced a run of productive displays for them in the final third. The 22-year-old scored 22 goals and earned three assists in 39 matches for the French club in the previous campaign on all fronts.

The talented youngster was a reliable performer in front of the opponent’s goal based on his average of 3.5 shots, 1.0 key passes and 0.9 dribbles per 90 minutes in Ligue 1. However, he was a bit careless when linking up play with others around him as evidenced by his pass success rate of 72.5% in league football (stats via whoscored).

Folarin Balogun
NUREMBERG, GERMANY – JULY 13: Folarin Balogun of Arsenal FC controls the ball during the pre-season friendly match between 1. FC Nürnberg and Arsenal FC at Max-Morlock Stadion on July 13, 2023 in Nuremberg, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

What Should Arsenal Boss Mikel Arteta Do With Regards To Balogun?

Balogun can create a yard of space for himself to get a few strikes in on-target. He proved his worth as a decent finisher in the final third during his loan spell at Reims last season. The French talent can even set up a few inviting chances for others around him in the opponent’s half. He is a good dribbler with the ball as well.

Balogun finds himself behind Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah in Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta‘s pecking order. Thus, another loan move makes sense for the player as he needs regular playing time to further his development.

Thus, the Gunners should focus on letting Balogun go out on loan once again before the start of the new campaign.

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