Arsenal fans discuss top-form Folarin Balogun as possible buy next season
Arsenal fans are very impressed with the form of Folarin Balogun after seeing him overtake Kylian Mbappe in the Ligue 1 Golden Boot race.
The 21-year-old moved to Reims on a season-long loan in the summer to continue his development after a spell in the Championship with Middlesbrough.
Balogun is highly rated by Gunners’ manager Mikel Arteta, who handed him his senior debut in 2020.
When asked about Balogun last year, he said: “You can see how he is developing. This is going to give us more details about what is the next best move for him to keep developing because he has developed and we want him to be part of our future.
“He needed a pathway; he needs that exposure. He needs to go through good and difficult moments, and he needs to be able to adapt and find himself in the dressing room and develop the importance that is required to play at this level.”
Balogun has scored 14 goals in 20 Ligue 1 appearances, with a hat-trick in Wednesday’s 4-2 win over Lorient taking him to the top of the scoring charts.
That means Balogun is ahead of Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe, who missed the chance to stay neck and neck at the summit after missing a penalty against Montpellier.
Being ahead of Mbappe isn’t down to luck. It’s down to the hard work which the England U21 international is putting in. He decided to move to France to get out of his comfort zone and is even attempting to learn the language.
It’s paid off, with only Erling Haaland and Harry Kane scoring more in Europe’s top five leagues this term.
Arsenal are well-stocked up top following the summer arrival of Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City and the rebirth of Eddie Nketiah.
Jesus was integral to how Arteta’s side played before his injury at the World Cup with Brazil and Nketiah is their top scorer in all competitions thanks to his natural poaching instincts.
Balogun’s performances are worth keeping an eye on though. Arsenal supporters are hoping they can have three quality forward options at the Emirates Stadium next season.
One person put: “If Mykhailo Mudryk and Enzo Fernandez are worth £100 million, how much is Folarin Balogun worth?”
A second said: “There’s nothing anyone can tell me to change my mind, next season we have to make room for Folarin Balogun at Arsenal. Boy is tearing Ligue 1 up.”
Someone added: “Hale End’s finest going international. Arteta has a big decision to make over the summer.”
While a fourth claimed: “I remember Balogun saying he chose to go to the French league because [Alexandre] Lacazette told him he’d ball over there considering his style of play. I guess Laca was right.”
Reims are currently 11th in the table under Will Still. They return to action against Auxerre on Sunday.
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