Balogun reveals the Arsenal player who encouraged him to move to FrancePublished: September 21, 2022
Arsenal are planning the progression of one of the top talents produced by their academy in recent years, Folarin Balogun.
The Hale End Academy graduate spent the second half of last season on loan at Championship outfit Middlesbrough and is continuing his development at Stade de Reims in the 2022-2023 season.
Allnigeriasoccer.com previously exclusively reported that the Gunners cannot recall Balogun in the January transfer window as no break clause allowing early termination of the contract was included in the deal taking him to the six-time French champions.
The England U21 international of Nigerian descent has flourished since landing at Reims, scoring five goals in eight matches while providing an assist and winning a penalty.
Balogun confirmed that English clubs were interested in signing him but French-born Arsenal winger Nicolas Pépé encouraged him to move to the Ligue 1.
"I had other options in England and that was the only option in France," Balogun was quoted as saying by The Sun.
"I felt that from watching and studying the French league, I felt it was a league I could make a good impact in.
"Before I knew it, I was in France playing. Then I realised there were certain things I would struggle with but I think that’s a good thing.
"I spoke to Reiss (Nelson) and I spoke to Nicolas Pepe at Arsenal. He encouraged me to move abroad. He told me Ligue Un would be a good league for me. He’s someone who’s trained with for a while at Arsenal now."
Balogun has been named in the England U21 squad for upcoming matches against Italy and Germany.
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