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“He was so convinced on the loan move to France” – Mikel Arteta on Folarin Balogun

“We discussed a lot before he made that move whether it was the right place to go and the other choices he had. He was so convinced.”

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On loan in Ligue 1, Mikel Arteta has praised the young striker for his top performances so far this season.

Folarin Balogun is another player who came through the Arsenal academy and is currently fulfilling his potential perfectly out in France. The striker is on a loan spell at Reims in Ligue 1 and is currently the league’s top goal scorer.

After a below par six month loan spell for Middlesbrough in the Championship last season, Folarin Balogun has returned to prove his worth in Ligue 1 & he’s doing it brilliantly.

Balogun has been slicing through defenses and doing better than Kylian Mbappe, Lacazette, Neymar, and Jonathon David in the goal-scoring department. Reims are sitting in 10th place, and 15 out of their 30 goals have come from Folarin Balogun.

Mikel Arteta has been taking notes and watching the young 21-year-old turn into a potential superstar up top. The boss said this about how he feels for the striker and the plans they took to get him in the right position.

“I’m so happy for him,” Arteta said. “He’s a boy that has a really clear idea of what he wants to do with his career. He’s really ambitious, really committed and really brave.

We discussed a lot before he made that move whether it was the right place to go and the other choices he had. He was so convinced. I’m really happy for him because he deserves what he’s getting.”

Balogun has been through the ups and downs of any player’s career, but his talent in undeniable and he’s finally getting to show what he’s made of in Ligue One this season…

“He had some scars from that period. There were moments when he suffered, moments when he played, and when he didn’t. Moments when he played in what he believes is not his best position. He threw all those excuses out and went into the next experience.

He put that behind him, but using exactly what worked for him, what didn’t work, looked in the mirror and moved to the next one. He’s done that really, really well.”

Folarin Balogun is tied down with the Gunners until 2025. The question for Mikel Arteta & Arsenal is how do they manage to integrate the player into the Arsenal team next season? Or will it be another loan spell for the young striker?

He needs to keep playing football but Arsenal also need to be wary of his contract situation & a decision on his future will need to be made soon.

For now though, Balogun is doing everything right.

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