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Arsenal to make Folarin Balogun transfer decision after Mikel Arteta’s pre-season plans

According to football.london, Arsenal are set to decide on sending Folarin Balogun out on loan after Mikel Arteta and his coaching team have assessed the striker in pre-season.

The Gunners boss is not yet thought to have determined if the forward will have a first-team role to play at the Emirates Stadium next term, as the starlet waits for his breakthrough.

A loan spell away from north London is potentially on the cards for the 19-year-old if game time at the senior level is not immediately forthcoming, but a decision will not be made yet.

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Arteta is likely to wait until the futures of Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are first resolved, as either leaving could open the door for Balogun’s promotion to the first-team.

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The Arsenal coaching set-up also intend to run the rule over Balogun in pre-season to see if he is ready to occupy a role in Arteta’s plans, having so far been restricted in his game time.

Arteta gave Balogun his senior debut as a late substitute at home to Dundalk during the Europa League group stage in October, but he has played just 76 minutes over his total of six first-team appearances to date.

TBR’s view:

Arsenal would not be short of suitable suitors to send Balogun out on loan if Arteta and his team feel the striker is not yet ready to play at the Emirates regularly, as the teen attracted interest from Everton and Manchester City (Daily Mail) before signing a long-term contract.

Balogun has also been impressive as the captain of the Gunners’ U23s this season, netting 10 goals and offering three assists, and has earned vast praise from Arteta having impressed the Spaniard in training at London Colney.

“He’s a very, very hungry boy,” Arteta told Sky Sports. “He wants to do everything. He wants to practice more every single day. He has unique qualities as a striker – his speed and the way he holds the ball. He’s a real goal threat and he works tremendously hard.”

If either Lacazette or Nketiah were to leave Arsenal, it may be worthwhile to give Balogun the chance to spend consistent time in the first-team beyond pre-season to gain a better understanding of Arteta’s system, but a loan would let him cut his teeth in senior football ready to hit the ground running on his return.

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