Mikel Arteta must take control of situation with Arsenal starlet as goal machine hints at move that ‘makes sense’

·3-min read
Folarin Balogun Reims 2023 TEAMtalk1 Credit: Alamy
Folarin Balogun Reims 2023 TEAMtalk1 Credit: Alamy

Folarin Balogun is refusing to close the door on extending his stay in France with doubts remaining over his long-term future at Arsenal.

The 21-year-old is carving out a reputation for himself while on loan at Ligue 1 club Reims. The USA-born ace has bagged 17 goals form 27 league appearances while adding another in the Coupe de France. Having come up through the Gunners youth system, the striker penned professional terms in February 2019.

However, game time has been hard to come by at Arsenal, with only two Premier League appearances to date.

He has enjoyed 10 outings in all competitions but was sent out on loan last summer with a view to gaining some much-needed experience.

But he has already achieved much morn than could have been expected at Stade de Reims.

Unsurprisingly, talk has turned to what might happen when he returns to the Emirates.

He recently suggested that dialogue needs to take place to determine his next move.

READ MORE: Report names winner of £35m Arsenal, Newcastle transfer battle with Liverpool not even in running

And the England Under-21 star knows that anything is possible before the start of next season.

“Yeah I mean, contractually I have to go back,” he told the Ligue 1 website. “Because the loan was only for one year so that was always the agreement.

“But I’m not sure what is going to happen in the future. A lot could happen in football, a lot could change.

“And it just depends on the conversations we have between me and the club in the summer, and we’ll see what happens.”

Balogun happy with French experience

Balogun was handed an opportunity to experience English football when being loaned to Middlesbrough in January 2022.

The Brooklyn-born ace did make 20 appearances in all competitions but could only manage three goals.

However, the decision was made to hand him another loan and the rest is history.

Reims would love to keep the starlet beyond the terms of his current deal. And it seems as though the former USA Under-18 player is not against the idea of playing for Les rouges et blancs next term.

“Yeah I mean there’s no door that’s closed,” he added. “Of course, I have had a good year here and to a lot of people, it makes sense for me to come back here.

“So yeah I mean I don’t know what the future will bring.”

And the prolific marksman had a message for any other up-and-coming players who are stagnating at English clubs.

“But definitely I would advise young players to come out here,” he continued. “It’s a really, really tough league, a league that will help you to improve. You get to play in crazy atmospheres.

“If you’re ready to take yourself out of your comfort zone, I would advise any young player, I would advise any young player to come here.”

Both AC Milan and Inter have been linked with a move for the forward. And Bayern Munich’s name has now been added to the list of clubs monitoring his situation.

READ MORE: Exclusive: Man City serious about landing Liverpool, Arsenal-linked star as Guardiola plots three marquee signings

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