Arsenal weighing up Balogun future as ‘various clubs’ have expressed interest in forward

Ben Stewart
Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun celebrates his goal for Stade Reims

Arsenal are yet to decide on the long-term future of Folarin Balogun as the youngster has attracted interest this season while out on loan.

Balogun has spent the season with Reims and he has been one of the most prolific players in Ligue 1 during this campaign.

The 21-year-old has scored 16 league goals, which is more than the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar.

Reims are now unbeaten in their last 19 league matches and Balogun has been one of their best players this season.

According to 90min, Arsenal will hold talks with Balogun once his loan spell in France comes to an end in the summer.

The report also claims that Balogun’s ‘representatives have been contacted by various clubs to express an interest in his services’.

Arsenal were reportedly considering recalling him in the January window as they were without Gabriel Jesus.

Arteta has done some great work at Arsenal when it comes to developing their younger talents and Balogun could be their next star.

The Arsenal manager was asked about the Reims loanee last month and he has been pleased to see his development this year.

“I’m so happy for him,” Arteta told the club website. “He’s a boy that has a really clear idea of what he wants to do with his career. He’s really ambitious, really committed and really brave.

“We discussed a lot before he made that move whether it was the right place to go and the other choices he had. He was so convinced. I’m really happy for him because he deserves what he’s getting.

“When you look at the numbers and what he is doing, it’s just incredible. It’s very rare to see that. But he’s got something special, that’s why we decided to give him a long-term contract and have faith in him and give him the long period that he needs now, because the loan he is having now is really different to the one he had before at Middlesbrough.

“He had some scars from that period. There were moments when he suffered, moments when he played, and when he didn’t. Moments when he played in what he believes is not his best position. He threw all those excuses out and went into the next experience.

“He put that behind him, but using exactly what worked for him, what didn’t work, looked in the mirror and moved to the next one. He’s done that really, really well.”

The Gunners have the youngest squad in the Premier League and Balogun would add more depth to their squad next year.

His current deal with Arsenal is set to expire in 2025 and they will be weighing up his future when he returns from France.

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