Arsenal to hold talks with Folarin Balogun over future

Arsenal will have discussions with on-loan striker Folarin Balogun over his future, reports The Evening Standard.

Balogun has been at Arsenal since 2008, coming through the youth ranks and earning his first professional contract in 2020.

He has scored twice for the senior team, netting against Molde and Dundalk in the Europa League.

He has spent this season on loan at Reims, where he has been a huge hit. He is currently the joint third-top scorer in Ligue 1 with 17, behind only Kylian Mbappe and Jonathan David.

This has left his parent club with a dilemma and they are set to discuss their options with him in the summer.

Many supporters are hoping to see him integrated into the Gunners’ first team. However, he would be competing with Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah for game time.

And, with Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Martinelli able to cover, another striker may not be necessary at the Emirates Stadium.

Balogun is also a different profile to the strikers that Arsenal have targeted in recent times. Manager Mikel Arteta is seemingly intent on bringing in someone more physical to give himself a different option.

Dusan Vlahovic, Tammy Abraham, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Rasmus Hojlund have all previously been linked with a switch to north London.

Balogun could be offloaded while his stock is on the rise. Aside from Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, there aren’t many better young strikers in Europe who could be available this summer.

Arsenal may send the 21-year-old out on loan again for another season, allowing him to play regularly and develop further. However, with just two years remaining on his current contract, this would be a gamble.

Balogun’s international future has also been at the heart of plenty of speculation. He was born in the United States to Nigerian parents and was raised in England. As a result, he qualifies for all three nations.

He has spent most of his youth career with the Three Lions. However, after being snubbed for Gareth Southgate’s latest senior squad, he has hinted that he will switch allegiance and play for the US.

He has also previously stated that he would be open to representing Nigeria.

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