'The right call' - Former Arsenal forward explains why a loan move is best for Balogun

Published: December 17, 2021
'The right call' - Former Arsenal forward explains why a loan move is best for Balogun
Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith believes a loan move away from the Emirates Stadium would be ideal for Folarin Balogun.

The Anglo-American-Nigerian starlet was promoted to Arsenal's first team on a permanent basis before the season started but has not been able to force his way into the starting lineup, with Alexandre Lacazette, Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ahead of him in Mikel Arteta's pecking order of center forwards.

Balogun's lack of game time has fueled speculation that he could be leaving the Gunners on loan in January, with clubs in the Championship, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga plotting a swoop for his services.

Smith reckons that remaining in the Premier League would be good for Balogun's development and moving to the Championship on loan is another good option.

Writing in his Sky Sports column, Smith stated : "I would say a loan move is the right call for Balogun.

"They see so much that we don't and how he is during training consistently and a player like that, if he could go to a Premier League side ideally, and get regular football, that would aid his development no end.

"Even Championship football would be good for him at this stage because the step up from youth and reserve team football is very big.

"In his case, it looks like Arteta doesn't feel he's quite ready yet, so a loan move would probably be a help to him and to Arsenal. Maybe the time is now right, and they can get something sorted for him this January."

Balogun has been the standout player for Arsenal's development squad in 2021-2022, tallying 16 goals in all competitions ans was named Premier League 2 Player of the Month for November.

Igho Kingsley

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