Arsenal face big decision on Folarin Balogun’s future

Arsenal have a big decision to make over Folarin Balogun’s future following his season-long loan spell with Reims, according to The Athletic’s David Ornstein.

The youngster has had an excellent loan spell with Reims in the French top-flight. He recently bagged his 18th goal of the league campaign with a stoppage time penalty against Brest.

Hence, his stock has been increasingly steadily and Ornstein reports that the north London giants have a significant call to make over his future this summer.

Balogun is currently in his second loan stint away from the Gunners after previously spending time at Middlesbrough. He has no plans to go out on loan again.

The striker would ideally prefer a regular starting berth at Arsenal but it is claimed that is unlikely due to the seniority and contract lengths of Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah.

The 21-year-old will enter the final two years of his contract this summer and Ornstein cites that he does not want to renew due to his desire to continue as a first-choice striker.

As things stand, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Marseille, Monaco and RB Leipzig are interested in signing Balogun and are prepared to offer him a starting berth for next season.

Arsenal could sell either Balogun or Nketiah

Balogun has been a revelation for Reims this campaign, bagging 19 goals and three assists from 31 games.

His performances have attracted plenty of high-profile interest and manager Mikel Arteta has a huge decision to make on the striker’s situation in the next transfer window.

Jesus is currently an undisputed starter up front when fit and available. Nketiah has been the deputy and he has made his mark with nine goals and two assists from 32 games.

Balogun has fared much better than him over the campaign but the Premier League is a different challenge altogether with the added intensity and physicality of opponents.

In our opinion, Arteta may have to choose between Balogun and Nketiah. One of the duo could be shown the exit door. We won’t be surprised if Balogun is sold for a premium fee.

The Gunners graduate won’t be guaranteed a starting role ahead of Jesus if he stays. Arsenal could sanction the striker’s sale this summer with a possible buy-back clause included.

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