Arsenal: Pundit drops claim on Folarin Balogun’s future

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Pundit and former Premier League player Alan Hutton has shared his thoughts regarding Arsenal attacker Folarin Balogun and his future with the north London club. 

The previous summer transfer window saw the 21-year-old join French club Stade Reims on loan until the end of the season, having only made 10 senior appearances for the Gunners.

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With the summer transfer period on the horizon, the topic of the youngster’s potential next step has arisen, with one pundit sharing their thoughts on the matter.

Speaking to Football Insider, Hutton had this to say when asked if Balogun will be part of Mikel Arteta’s side if he ends up staying at the club following the upcoming summer transfer window.

He said: “Ultimately that is what you do if you are a younger player who is sent out on loan to get that experience to get that know-how to come back and be better and get into the first team.

“Arsenal are in a very good place at this moment in time. Can he come back and add something? He will hope so and that is what the manager will hope as well.

“I am sure he will be given that opportunity in pre-season to go and shine and it is up to him to take it. If he can do that I am sure Arteta will welcome him back with open arms. If it does not work out then I am sure there will be other teams hovering round about.”

During his time in France, the striker has scored 18 goals in 29 appearances across all competitions for Reims.

Across his 27 Ligue 1 appearances, the Arsenal loanee has scored 17 goals and racked up 81 shots at goal, leaving only Kylian Mbappe (100) and Lionel Messi (99) with more in the division.

What should Arsenal do with Folarin Balogun this summer?

Keep him in the senior squad

Keep him in the senior squad

Loan him out again

Loan him out again

Sell him

Sell him

With that in mind, it’s clear that this loan spell has seen Balogun show how much of a capable attacking figure he is and why he could be in with a shout of being a fairly useful player in Arsenal’s side next season.

Looking ahead to the summer, even though Arteta has the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah in his ranks, if the Spaniard thinks Balogun would be better off being part of the squad next season, he should try to do what he thinks is best for the player and the club.

Given both current Gunners strikers have suffered with injury issues throughout the campaign and with neither being a reliable source of goals, adding Balogun to the squad could give the strong competition required to get the best out of Jesus and Nketiah, while also hand the youngster a well-deserved opportunity to stake his own claim for a prominent role in the team.

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