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Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun expected to join Middlesbrough next week

Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun is expected to secure a loan move to Middlesbrough next week, reputed journalist Fabizio Romano claims.

The Gunners graduate signed a new long-term deal last year, but he has yet to establish himself as a first-team regular.

Having played just 133 minutes this season, he is now set to pursue a temporary move to the Championship to gain valuable experience.

Boro are set to land his services with manager Chris Wilder playing a big part. He was previously keen on signing him for Sheffield United.

According to football.london’s Chris Wheatley, the Riverside outfit will pay the striker’s full wages of £40,000-a-week alongside agent fees.

Our view:

Balogun was the subject of interest from 15 clubs last year, but he was eventually convinced to sign a new Arsenal deal.

The current campaign was touted to be his breakthrough season, but things have not gone as planned.

The Gunners have now agreed to sanction his temporary exit, and hopefully he can make the most of his playing time.

The decision will lead to question marks whether the Gunners will permit the sale of Eddie Nketiah this month.

The club graduate has entered the final six months of his contract, and has no plans of prolonging his stay.

He is currently on the radar of Brighton and Crystal Palace, but the Gunners could make a late transfer decision.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is presently away on AFCON duty while he has also contracted coronavirus.

The Gabon star has been dropped for the Gunners’ last six games after another disciplinary breach.

It is unclear whether he has a future under manager Mikel Arteta. A mid-season departure has not been ruled out.

The club recently made a bid of €55 million plus Lucas Torreira for Dusan Vlahovic, but Fiorentina have yet to respond.

As things stand, Alexandre Lacazette is the only senior striker available with Nketiah on the sidelines with Covid-19.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com

Read: Brazilian’s entourage hoping for ‘concrete offer’ from Arsenal despite PL club interest.

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