Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun has witnessed an immense rise in the last few months.
Last term, the 21-year-old was catching the eye but ultimately failing to find the net too often while on loan at Middlesbrough.
The Gunners prodigy beat the goalkeeper just three times during his time in the Championship and with that, another temporary spell was granted.
With Gabriel Jesus’ arrival and Eddie Nketiah’s new contract, it was clear that he wasn’t going to force his way into Mikel Arteta’s plans anytime soon but that could change heading into the 2023/24 campaign.
That’s because the American-born attacker has been rampant at French club Reims this term.
What are Folarin Balogun’s stats this season?
The England U21 international has been seriously impressive in Ligue 1 throughout this campaign, with a penalty miss last weekend the only blemish on his record so far.
To date, Balogun has found the net on 15 occasions in 23 league outings, with that tally only matched by Jonathan David and none other than Kylian Mbappe.
Showcasing his supreme pace, positioning and importantly, his finishing, the youngster is demonstrating why he has a huge future in the game.
That said, it’s hard to picture where he fits into Arsenal’s long-term plans.
Jesus and Nketiah, who have scored 14 goals between them this term, have not been too prolific but the all round game, especially of the former, has seen him emerge as a game-changing option for Arteta’s side.
How much is Balogun worth now?
Due to the presence of the aforementioned forwards in Arsenal’s ranks, another spell away from north London could be forthcoming for the Hale End graduate.
A loan spell, possibly to a top-flight side in England, would make the most sense and it doesn’t appear as though that has been ruled out.
Football Insider reported over the weekend that the Gunners expect his value to continue to rise over the coming months, potentially making him a £50m player in waiting. That would be an extraordinary fee to receive but baby steps are first required for the ever-impressive loanee.
The outlet’s sources state that “half the Premier League” could look to seal a temporary deal for the goal-scorer in the summer and that would be a fine reward for his immense displays across the channel.
With another loan in mind, Arteta could well repeat the trick he used with defender William Saliba.
It took three loan spells before the Frenchman was finally thrust into the senior ranks at the Emirates Stadium and the same situation could play out with Balogun next term.
Supporters may well be crying out for his immediate return but he won’t receive consistent minutes with Jesus and Nketiah in the way.
Even if they can’t find room for him, Arsenal have certainly struck gold by unearthing such a talented young player.
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