Saturday, May 25, 2024

“He will make a step up” – Reims not expecting Balogun to stay

Stade de Reims president Jean-Pierre Caillot thinks it’s “impossible” for Reims to sign Folarin Balogun on a permanent basis but he’ll have a conversation with Arsenal about retaining the striker on loan.

The England under-21 international has been a revelation in France, netting 15 goals in 23 appearances to share top spot in Ligue 1 scoring charts.

Sent to gain further experience of senior football following six months at Middlesbrough, Balogun’s performances, including goal-scoring cameos against the league’s top sides, have alerted clubs across the continent to his qualities.

As a consequence, Caillot knows he faces stiff competition in the summer when Arsenal weigh up the next step in the player’s career.

“I think [signing him permanently] is impossible,” he told France Bleu.

“These are boys who, when they join us, know that they are there to showcase themselves and this is a stage for them.

“So even if I don’t decide [his future] for him, either Folarin will return to his club Arsenal to have his chance, or he will be loaned out again or even transferred to a very high level club. He is a player who must go even higher.

“Obviously, we’ll ask the question to his club [about another loan], we know he feels good here, but today, I think he will make a step up.

“We are already working on the ‘next Balogun’ for the day he leaves the club. But hey, if he and his club agree to do another year at Stade de Reims, we will do everything to make it happen.”

As loan moves go, this has, so far, been incredibly successful for Balogun. That said, he’d do well to heed the lessons learnt by Reiss Nelson who impressed at Hoffenheim in 2018/19 but struggled badly on his return.

In fairness, there were mitigating factors for Reiss, not least having to deal with a new coach on his return, a series of injuries and stiff competition in his position, but it’s a warning that a footballer’s formative steps are not always a constant upwards trajectory.

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Impressed with his form and even more if he can maintain it for the rest of the season. Would be surprised if we don’t keep our Hale End lad to up the competition up front next season.


Beg to differ. Flo’s potential is too high to be our third choice striker and play a handful of games. I hope that he will be loaned again to a bigger club, or that we will make a choice between him and Eddie and decide to sell one of them.


Currently I’d take Flo over Eddie, though that does ignore Eddie’s impressive spell earlier in the season.

Who would we all keep, Flo or Eddie, if we had to make the choice?


The potential of having a striking duo “Flo and Eddie” is too good to pass up.

Giuseppe Hovno

they would be so happy together


They could be our pride and joy et cetera.


Transfers? Mikel says “I know they’d rather be with me” .

Dennis Elbow


Emi Rates

Together they’d be like Ed and Flo.


Everybody’s got a hungry heart


illegal, immoral & fattening


perhaps sell Eddie with an option to buy back at a 10% higher price. Like what Madrid did on Carvajal’s deal to Leverkusen.

Crash Fistfight

To be honest, I’d rather we did that with Balogun. If we sell him for (say) £30m and he continues to be good (and preferably in a stronger league that might give a better indication), buying him back for £33m (on the basis of that 10%) would be a bargain (£3m minus 1 year’s wages isn’t much, all-in-all). If he doesn’t prove to be all that he looked he might be, we’ve made a cool £30m on an academy player. I suppose it depends on how much the offers are for either player, but it’s possible that we’ll never get… Read more »


£30m? You’re lucky if a young forward has legs at that price. He’s matching Mbappe, outdoing Messi and Neymar! This is a PR dream.

Straight swap for Caicedo, £150m to Chelsea, would think Eddie going for £40m is more likely.


I feel like Eddie is like having Chicharito or Timmy Cahill or (hard pressed for an Arsenal example – maybe that’s shows our need!). He’s the type of guy you can rely on if injuries happen, he’ll get goals, can be an ideal impact sub, but not necessarily a guy that needs to play every minute to be useful/happy. We need that fox-in-the-box type as we look to play more competition. Overall Balogun looks to have WAY more upside as he’s a real dynamic type (he reminds me a lot of Thierry). I’d be happy to run with Jesus/Balogun/Eddie (Martinelli/Tross)… Read more »

Bleeding Gums Murphy

Absolutely spot on.


Not disagreeing, but there’s an argument to be made for the difference between playing upfront for Arsenal against a bunch of teams that park the bus, and Reims, who are in a different situation. Our lads play a lot better when we can play quick counterattacking, but that’s rarely the privilege when you’re leading the league. I love ’em both – but I wonder what would be the case, had the roles been reversed. It does indeed look like Baller-Gun has a higher ceiling than Eddie right now – but Eddie offers us something up front that we haven’t had… Read more »

Bleeding Gums Murphy

He’s not had a shot on target for 5 games. He really is offering something different


Hilariously the closest Arsenal comp to what you’re talking about is probably TGSTEL, unless you count guys at the end of their careers like Kanu or Suker. We’ve never really had a proper long term reliable substitute goal scorer like Chicharito or Solkskjaer, and that’s why Man U always scored so many injury time winners while we were always more likely to concede one at that point.:/ I feel like it’s too early to put that kind of ceiling on Eddie, he’s no where near his prime and still might get much better, and I’m not sure he’s that good… Read more »


Maybe Eduardo? Eddieardo?


That’s almost too sad to mention. Dude was so talented, could’ve been a legend if it wasn’t for that Birmingham oaf. He never really got back to where he was prior to that awful day.


Think that is what it will come to, although it looks like we are also looking at the Atalanta striker.

Who has the higher ceiling….Eddie or Flo?


I think we should go with the flo…


And there it is!

Good God fellas, I’ve been scrolling down waiting for someone to grasp that nettle… glad to see the community has not failed me.

Man Manny

We know what Nketiah can do in EPL, but not so Flo Balogun. The choice you propose must be based on facts and statistics in Arsenal colours.
But I agree with you that there won’t be space for them both here in the long run.


Maybe start the season with him, giving him cup and champion league group stage games, then loan him to a prem team in january?

Teryima Adi

We shall be considering our options, Reims, as it pertains to Balogun.😀


Surely it’ll be one of Eddie or Balogan? Don’t they have the same agent too?


He does not seem top quality. Sell him and get some cash.


The talk here is of who would we sell – Balogun or Eddie. No one is indispensable so I would ask the question about Jesus. Eddie has been more prolific in the league and just as effective. Balogun is rapidly emerging as a real young talent in France. I would say that from a goal scoring perspective (that is why you buy a striker after all) Jesus has been underwhelming – yes his overall play is impressive as his contribution to team cohesion but those players who play behind him such as Odegaard and Saka have really stepped up in… Read more »

Pat Fried Rice with Egg

That’s a lot of words for saying we should keep all 3.


I don’t think you can never have too much quality up front.
This is a nice situation to find yourself in – top quality strikers rested and fit throughout the campaign.


Especiallly with (he whispered behind his hand) CL football on the horizon… we will need options, and a number of ’em.


Eddie’s worked himself into the ground this past couple of months, and deserves massive credit for the job he’s done as basically the lone striker in the squad at this point. But wow, where do I begin here. Eddie hasn’t been anywhere near as effective as Jesus. We didn’t sign him with ‘a goal-scoring perspective’ in mind, but it turned out to be a revelation for this group of players, and he walks straight back into this side the second he’s fit. Can’t bring myself to click ‘read more’.


Depends upon how you would define effective – both are effective in their own right. I would want to keep both..


Here’s the simple – but crucial – question: how much difference would Jesus have made in these last few ‘stagnant’ games?
The sheer energy and unpredictably – both in positional movement and pure ball-skills – is exactly what was needed to unlock those stacked defences.
And we will most certainly be facing more of those as the season grinds on.


‘unpredictability’ – Blogs, when are we getting a bloody Edit button on here???

Bleeding Gums Murphy

I hear you Sean. Baffling 🙂

Only here to see Eboue

For sure we should obviously keep all three. Just think about Arsenal’s striking options circa 2001/2002. Henry, Wiltord, Kanu, Jeffers and arguably Dennis Bergkamp, though he was of course more of a 10 by that time. The best teams in the world have around 3-4 good quality strikers who are always ready to get the job done. How much better for Arsenal if two our three can be Hale End boys, who’ll have great chemistry and camaraderie and togetherness on and off the pitch. Gone are the days of finishing 6th and 7th, we’re back in the big leagues and… Read more »


So… wtf are you saying then? It’s extraordinarily convoluted.

Bleeding Gums Murphy

With due respect to you sir, Eddie has been nowhere near as effective as Jesus. He has not had a shot on target in the last 5 games. Other than the chance he created for odegarrd, he has created nothing. Goodness me some people are so blinkered, doh 🙄 there went the due respect. Always do that 🙃


I believe that Flo is under contract to Arsenal until 2025, so I reckon another extension to that deal is necessary if he goes out on loan again although keeping him at home to fight it out alongside Eddie and Jesus is my preferred option for next season, plus the contract extension anyway, with Champions League on the horizon we’re going to need three strikers if we want to seriously attack everything, maybe four if possible, why not, a bit of competition will keep them all on their toes and allow Arteta the luxury to rotate and keep the level… Read more »

Bleeding Gums Murphy

You do know Eddie has not had a shot on target for 5 games. He has created one chance. He scored in 3 games. He has no assists and creates very very little for others. Just saying


After either one season or half a season to go by, Chelsea paid Shaktar close to 100 million Euros for Mudryk. Liverpool paid 75 million for Nunez, Man Utd paid 75 million for Antony. Napoli want 100+ for Osimhen. Hell, we paid 72 million for Pepe. If Balogun scores even a total of 20 goals, we need to think about charging silly money. Lets not get stitched up, just because we have a history of under valuing our players. 60 million plus would be a starting figure.

SLC Gooner

This…Flo should be valued at least at Mudryk numbers.


Well said.


smartest comment here… We can’t keep 3 players who can only play upfront. Jesus is a superstart, so we either keep Eddie or Flo. Eddie is here, getting chances, think Flo will leave for a big transfer fee, that’s life of a footballer and it happens. I’d want to have him here but 2 players per each position is the norm.


Flo will be another Serge Gnabry… but this time, we just need to be bloody sure of cashing in properly.

I still like to seem him stay though – top lad, Gooner thru and thru. The next Wrighty imho.

Arun Sasikumar

Problem here is that it’s our immediate English rivals who are paying these crazy transfer fees and we can’t sell to our rivals. Maybe if a continental super club like PSG/Bayern is interested, we may get close to those valuations. But why should we sell our academy product to those clubs when we can keep him instead.

Financially best option might be to see if there is interest for Eddie from a mid table English club for around 40-50m. Or just keep all three but I am sure the players may not be too pleased with the reduced game time.


Too right – it’s all about….

wait for it….

Cash Flo!


Let’s thought experiment this: we sell Balogun since we can’t have Eddie and Flo in the same squad, according to many of us here. But everyone would agree we need at least 3 top level strikers to compete with each other, particularly given the demands of Champions League (which can be, er, tough as Liverpool have just demonstrated). So we’ll need to find a 3rd striker. Ideally a young one with a high ceiling. So let’s look in a top league, maybe not La Liga which can be too expensive but another good European one. Everyone knows that the French… Read more »


Succinctly put, Sir.


Or we could get a seasoned striker from the French league that Alexander Laca-something.
He has 18 goals in 26 appearances, whilst this youngster has 16 goals in 25 appearances, so they seem equal to each other…
if only that Laca could net with the same frequency in this league,
oh… wait a second last season for us he got 6 for 36…


I love Flo and hope he is our squad next season, alongside Eddie and Jesus, but it’s not a given that he will bag as many in the premier league,


If he goes at 60% of this French season, we’d grab it with both hands!

Boy Bastin

If he returns, as seems likely, I think that a tough decision will need to be made as to whether he or Eddie is sold. Obviously, it would be great to keep both as people are suggesting but, in reality, I doubt either of them will want to play second fiddle for long with the prospect of cup games and/or being an almost perpetual substitute. Balogun won’t want that having been a regular and very successful player for his loan club (nor will he be happy with yet another loan out, I suspect) and Eddie has done the same here… Read more »


Stop this bloody chatter about selling a striker – WE WILL HAVE CL NEXT SEASON!
We NEED 3 strikers minimum.


That’s your take. Definitely one of them would not want the scenario of being 3rd choice…they are all better than being 3rd choice…2nd choice fine…we would lose 1 of the 3 come the summer.

Public Elneny

2 specialist strikers, plus a couple of wingers who can fill in the middle if needed i.e. Trossard and Martinelli seems fine to me No point having 2 early 20s players fighting over a game every other week, squandering their momentum and causing them to stagnate Unless we get a bite-your-hand-off bid (eg £50m+) for Balogun, I wouldn’t sell. But if Nketiah regains his form and shows that his recent performances were just a blip I’d loan Balogun, to a PL club if poss. If Eddie’s recent form becomes the rule then I’d sell and hand his squad role to… Read more »


Well said.

They just don’t get it, do they? They make your teeth itch.

You would have thought that given what we’re experiencing this season, trying to keep a title challenge afloat with only one fit striker, that people would welcome a quality FREE addition with open arms.

Honestly, some of the comments on here are so naive and others downright stupid.

Alan Sunderland

exactly right, we have been an injury to Eddie away from having no cf since the world cup.


Whats this “tranferred to a very big club” bs, he is at the biggest for the future already by now.

Crash Fistfight

He just means a much bigger club than Reims, which is fair enough. No need to get offended by everything you read/hear.

mach iii

considering Mudryk who played in a farmers league had a 90m value..

Balo’s current market value is between 110m and 140m easy, and likely growing.

100% that Arteta is firmly licking his lips.


I read that Mudryk gave the ball away 20 times when he came on as a second half substitute against Southampton. Apparently, this is a Premiership record for a second half substitute.
Talk about dodging a bullet..

Group Captain Mandrake

He may very well still come good after he acclimates to the league – there appears to be a lot of talent there – but oh boy am I glad Arsenal didn’t pay that kind of money for him.


Pepe Mk II

mach iii

pretty easy dodge. I think Hazard cost Chelsea around 30m… with inflation make that 45m.. I think a fair fee for Mudryk who is untested and shows some natural talent should be 15-30m maximum. Even if he has the natural talent, he still needs to show that he can do the hard work and that he can learn the knowledge necessary.. It’s a lot of if’s.. 30m is a fortune to pay for someone so raw. 90m is total madness. The way football is going is that teams are inculcating their systems into players, and it’s no longer individuals being… Read more »


Remember that we scouted Hazard before anyone – when Arsene was presented with a fee of 18m euro, he said it was over the top. And knocked the Belgians back! Same with the young Lukaku

mach iii

I didn’t know that. Imagine having Hazard instead of Walcott. We would’ve won everything. Love Wenger, but he had his downfalls…

Alan Sunderland

mudryk is a good player, think he just joined the wrong team at the wrong time.

Glenn Helder Trio

I think keeping him as third choice would be madness with his growth curve, he should be on loan and starting at either at top 5 club in France, Italy or Germany or as a week in week out starter at a bottom of the table prem club a bit like Borja last season or Tammy Abraham before that. If he then does well again he’d be able to come in and see if he can displace Eddie. Eddie is already the real deal though, I think displacing him or Jesus would be hard.


I remember Glenn Helder ! apparently he went on to become a stand-up comedian. Judging by his Arsenal career he had plenty of material to make people laugh.

DB10's Air Miles

Glen helder, now theres a blast from the past. I seem to remember a lot of massively over hit crosses.


Had a rather tasty bonnet-style, if I recall correctly?



Crash Fistfight

He had one very good performance against Newcastle in the Coca-Cola Cup, when David Ginola got sent off and cried like a baby on his way off, saying “they won’t let me play football, wah, wah, wah” (the “wahs were added by me for comic effect).


I do respect how Eddie stood up to be counted when needed… and love the lad. But ZERO shots on target in 5 games is a serious concern, especially given the cruel contrast with Flo smashing ’em in for fun across the ditch!


We need 3 forwards next year with the Champions League.

Otherwise we are an injury away from having to play the same striker into the ground by leaving them on for 90 mins of every match (see Nketiah since the World Cup).

If we were to sell Flo we would end up having to pay similar to get a different third striker anyway.


Yep. Another one who gets it, thank God. 👍🍺


Or maybe he could end up like Saliba who not only impressed on loan, winning young player of the year and came up to the national team, and then coming back from loan to be a main first team player


Going against the grain, but I’d keep all three of Jesus, Eddie and Flo next season. The last month has shown the risk of going through a season with only two strikers – with one injured and the other slightly off the boil we struggled, and it contributed to us dropping points. So, I’d rather we don’t take the risk next season of only having two strikers, and buying a striker (traditionally one of the most expensive positions to recruit) while loaning Flo out doesn’t seem the best use of funds. Keeping all three happy with enough playing time is… Read more »


Top post, well said. 🍺👍


The right coloured kit, too.


Love the neck design – reminds me of the design Umbro did for Bob Wilson and Geoff Barnet in the very late 60’s.


Oh my days. This thread.

“Replace Eddie”
”Sell Flo”
”Replace Jesus” (yep, someone actually suggested that)

Have none of you nuggets actually engaged your brains and considered that with Champions League football and three domestic competitions to play for next season, we might actually require all three…..?

Give me strength….🙄

Crash Fistfight

Has it not occurred to you that we might think it would be better to have a different 3?



They’ve all proved themselves to be good at the highest level.

Who would you replace them with? And what is it going to cost us – just because we’re interested?

If we want Declan Rice this summer, we’re not going to have much change out of £80m-£90m.

Flo can save us an absolute fortune in the transfer market, Eddie has shown he can do it at the top level and Gabriel Jesus has been quite simply one of the best signings this club has ever made.

Why fix what ain’t broken?

Merlin’s Panini

While it’s a little early to be making that claim about Gabriel Jesus being one of our best signings ever I don’t doubt he will be. Before Christmas he was outstanding even if he didn’t score. The energy and skill he brings, the movement, the workrate and the pure panic he causes the opposition made him an automatic starter. If we can get through this period with him still at the top our chance of winning the league will be huge. Eddie has shown he is capable. He just looks knackered though. He’s not been the main man for this… Read more »


What sort of mindlessly ill-considered drivel is that comment?
Which different 3? At what price? From which leagues? And when do we miraculously pluck these ‘legends-in-an-instant’ out of the ether?


Crash Fistfight

Odd logic. So does that mean the club shouldn’t look to improve on any of the players in the squad, by that same token? They haven’t been finding players over the last couple of years who are better than those they replaced?


Hear…bloody… hear!!!!


A thought. Eddie is a bad ass hard workin Arsenal homegrown working his ffffing ass off to be the best he can be. We are lucky to have him and we owe him our support. Eddie, if you read this…I wish you all the best you tough SOB! COYG

Merlin’s Panini

Keep him and Eddie and Jesus.
All of them can play across the front three. Jesus is a complete allrounder, Eddie is more of a central striker (fox in the box) but tenacious out wide too, Balogun reminds me of Drogba without the histrionics. All would have their benefits in a big CL squad.


Posting this here as it the most ‘current’ forum available:

RIP Motters… what an utter legend and thoroughly decent bloke.
Your quirkily high-pitched (for a commentator, anyway!) voice coaxed me through 4 decades of Gooners’ highs and lows… always a reassuring constant in the darkest of Ars-ish times – with your resolute love of our game, whatever it served up… on any given Saturday.


I cannot decide if my favourite Motty commentary is Brady’s goal at White Hart Lane Christmas 1978 (“Look at that! Ohhhh look at that!!! What a goal by Brady!!!) – or Alan Sunderland’s sun drenched Wembley winner in the Cup Final five months later (“There’s a minute left on the clock, Brady for Arsenal, Rix, right across….Sunderland! It’s there!! Alan Sunderland!!! It’s three two!!!!) I’m going for the latter – because no one could describe the magic and romance of FA Cup Final goals quite like John Motson. As a kid, you dreamed of scoring the winner for Arsenal, knowing… Read more »


We should bring him back and give him his chance in the team.

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