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Arsenal youngster eyes chance to prove his worth with January loan move

Arsenal youngster eyes chance to prove his worth with January loan move

Balogun eyeing key chance at first-team minutes

Arsenal striker and Hale End graduate Folarin Balogun could be set to add to his CV in January after the England U21 international is said to be eyeing a loan move away from the Emirates during the winter window with a view of proving himself first-team ready.

According to Football.London’s Chief Arsenal reporter Chris Wheatley, the recently extended Arsenal youngster is keen on getting his first proper chance at first-team football after his appearances for the Gunners this season have been expectedly limited.

With no European football on offer at the Emirates this season, Balogun remains – at best – the third choice option behind veteran duo Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, while Eddie Nketiah also remains at the club in addition to the possibility of Brazilian youngster Gabriel Martinelli also competing for minutes.

It was mentioned by Wheatley that a number of clubs are rumored to be keen on making a move for the New York City-born forward, including Championship outfit Middlesbrough as well as Ligue 1 side AS Saint-Étienne.

Arsenal in potential striker crisis

A loan for the second half of the season would hardly be a poor call by Mikel Arteta at Arsenal given the Gunners continued to hunt for a long-term center forward option to take up the reigns in the number 9 role.

With Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah both out of contract in the summer and primed to leave the club, finding valuable experience for Balogun this season could prove a potentially cost-effective solution to a frustrating question at the Emirates.

Arsenal youngster eyes chance to prove his worth with January loan move

TURIN, ITALY – NOVEMBER 06: Dusan Vlahovic of Fiorentina gives their team instructions during the Serie A match between Juventus FC and ACF Fiorentina at Allianz Stadium on November 06, 2021 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Chris Ricco/Getty Images)

Recent reports that link Arsenal with an increased offer for Fiorentina’s Serbian starlet Dušan Vlahović shows the urgency with which the club are trying to arrest the potential situation from a long-term perspective, but a free option through the academy could prove a masterstroke after Balogun has smashed it for the U23’s this season to the tune of 14-goals in ten league appearances while averaging a goal every 61-minutes.

This article was edited by Ben Browning.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 23 41 57
2 Liverpool FC 21 37 45
3 Chelsea FC 23 28 44
4 Manchester United 22 6 38
5 West Ham United 23 10 37
6 Tottenham Hotspur 19 4 36
7 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 21 3 34
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 21 0 29
10 Aston Villa 21 -4 26
11 Leicester City 19 -3 25
12 Southampton FC 22 -8 25
13 Crystal Palace 21 -1 24
14 Brentford FC 23 -12 23
15 Leeds United 21 -16 22
16 Everton FC 20 -11 19
17 Norwich City 22 -32 16
18 Newcastle United 21 -22 15
19 Watford FC 20 -17 14
20 Burnley FC 17 -11 11

Premier League 21/22

Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 7
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 6
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Maddison, James Leicester City 6