Arsenal or a big-money transfer? USMNT target Folarin Balogun discusses club future amid 18-goal loan spell at Reims

Folarin Balogun Reims 2022-23Getty Images
  • Striker catching the eye in Ligue 1
  • Linked with clubs across Europe
  • Remains under contract with Gunners

WHAT HAPPENED? The 21-year-old striker has been catching the eye on loan at Ligue 1 side Reims this season, with 18 goals recorded through 29 appearances in all competitions. Balogun is now caught up in an allegiance battle between England and the United States – as he remains eligible to represent both – while serious questions are being asked of whether a big-money transfer could be on the cards for the summer of 2023.

WHAT THEY SAID: Balogun, who is under contract at Arsenal until 2025, has told the Ligue 1 official website when asked if he will be returning to Emirates Stadium: “Yeah, I mean, contractually I have to go back. Because the loan was only for one year so that was always the agreement. But I wouldn't, I'm not sure what is going to happen in the future. A lot could happen in football, a lot could change, and it just depends on the conversations we have between me and the club in the summer, and we'll see what happens.”

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Balogun has been linked with clubs across Europe after proving that he can be a regular goalscorer for a mid-table Ligue 1 side, and added when asked if he could be back in France for 2023-24: “Yeah, I mean there's no door that's closed. Of course I have had a good year here and to a lot of people it makes sense for me to come back here. So, yeah, I mean I don't know what the future will bring. But definitely I would advise young players to come out here. It's a really, really tough league, a league that will help you to improve. You get to play in crazy atmospheres. If you're ready to take yourself out of your comfort zone, I would advise any young player, I would advise any young player to come here.”


Folarin Balogun Reims 2022-23Getty

Folarin BalogunGetty

Folarin Balogun Arsenal 2021-22

WHAT NEXT? Balogun says he set out this season to “score 10 goals”, but he now has new targets and big decisions to make regarding his future plans with club and country.