L’Equipe report this evening that Folarin Balogun will join Ligue 1 side Stade de Reims on a season-long loan.
The England under-21 international is understood to have turned down opportunities from Premier League clubs to fill the void left by striker Hugo Ekitike who was recently loaned to Paris Saint Germain.
Balogun is due in France tomorrow to undertake a medical. His contract will not include an option to buy.
After committing his future to Arsenal last summer, the 21-year-old was retained by the club in the first half of last season before joining Middlesbrough in January. He went on to score three goals in 21 appearances at the Riverside Stadium.
A talented, technically gifted striker with a burst of pace, Balogun has the ingredients to make it at the highest level, he now needs regular game time to prove it. In that sense, a loan certainly makes sense.
At the same time, Arsenal now have just two bona fide strikers – Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah – in the first team squad and face a hectic pre-World Cup schedule that includes Europa League and League Cup football on top of Premier League commitments.
It’ll be interesting to see if Mikel Arteta and Edu look to add further strength in depth in that area in the coming weeks.