Sunday, March 3, 2024

Balogun: I’m definitely not going on loan again

Folarin Balogun admits he’s unsure where he’ll be playing football next season but has made it clear that another loan move is out of the question.

Arsenal sent the 21-year-old striker to Stade de Reims in France to gain valuable first team experience and he underlined his promise with 22 goals in all competitions.

Balogun has already made one switch this summer by committing his international future to the USA and it seems likely he could make another at club level with the Gunners unable to guarantee him regular first team football.

After helping the US to glory in the Concacaf Nations League with a goal against Canada, Balogun turns his attention to the upcoming Gold Cup.

In the meantime, his representatives are due to sit down with Mikel Arteta and Edu.

“I’m not sure [about] the discussions that are going to take place,” he said.

“I’m not sure what’s going to happen. But I’m just committed to now; I try to stay present. I obviously want to enjoy the moment with my team and my family.

“What I can say is that I definitely won’t go on loan again.”

While we’ve no doubt Balogun is of interest to multiple clubs, no concrete offers appear to have been made so far. His current contract at Arsenal ends in 2025.

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Fair play to the young man, he’s certainly not lacking in confidence. Unfortunate for us as I think he is a terrific talent.

Johnny 4 Hats

Balogun will be a great striker for a good club. But I haven’t seen him do anything that Arteta wants his CF to do.

That’s why I’d be listening to offers for Eddie this summer too. Poachers in the right system are fantastic and can really be valuable. But our system doesn’t play to their strengths.

And yes, the more that I think about it, the more I’m getting really excited about Havertz.

Heavenly Chapecoense

You should remember that Giroud played for Wenger. Folarian is more like Adebayor. He will fit in well if used properly.

Johnny 4 Hats

I’m not having this Giroud rose-tinted retrospective. The guy was ok / poor at Arsenal.

Granted, he did well enough at Chelsea and Milan. But at Arsenal he played in front of one of our most creative midfields and missed about 3000 sitters a game.


Did well at Chelsea and Milan, but was ok/poor at Arsenal? He score 105 goals for Arsenal in 253 games and and 71 in 204 since? If he was on this current team in his prime he’d have score 150 in 250 easy. He’s exactly the player this team needs to complement what we have.

Cannon and ball and arsen’all

Giroud is possibly the most underrated asset of this generation. He was awesome – but what he lacked was what we needed at the time – so although it’s easy to say we should not have got to rid – it’s also relevant that he could not give us what we needed with the players that we had. This is how I currently feel about Balogun. Whilst I agree he’s got serious talent – I also believe that for what we have and are positioning ourselves as – he’s not really what we need. My position is take £30m and… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

Don’t you think we need something different against Man City instead of getting destroyed by them all the time and pretending the score wasn’t as bad as before? They could have lost against Inter although they were the better team. It was because of the different system Inter was playing.

Cannon and ball and arsen’all

We’ve needed something different against city for the last 5 years. What this season has shown us is that we need an approach to every match, not just an approach against the big teams. Do you think we should keep Balogun and / or spend £60m on a striker so that we can potentially win 2 games a season against city by playing this new striker/Balogun ? – and for the rest of the season do what we already did so well this season and leave that £60m signing/Balogun on the bench? There are some more pieces to this jigsaw,… Read more »

Leyden Williams

50m to be precise.

Sean Johansen

Agreed, recently I’ve started noticing a bit of a re-writing of history regarding Giroud’s time with us from (from fans outside of Arsenal mainly). Always had a soft spot for him and he gave us lots of great moments. But as can sometimes happen with divisive players, so many people have talked about how “under-appreciated” he is that he’s actually gone the other way and become quite overrated in recent years. Great target man, but not having a higher quality centre forward in the time he was leading our front line proved very costly for us (the Leicester year in… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

Yes Sean! I totally agree with you. How stoopid is Daveo?! He probably knows nothing about arsenal and should go and support, I dunno, Spurs or Notts County or summit. Because he just don’t get ball. It’s like he’s just…. *Johnny looks from his train window, the one he gets everyday, same seat, same blue-grey chewing gum not so discretely placed on the hinge of the pull down “table” where remnants of the last wet and warm sandwich and the odd beer bottle can be found. He looks out of the window and sees a white horse, playfully running alongside… Read more »


Good man.


He done OK for France, he hasn’t he just??
And over a consistent period – consistent enough to knock TH off their all-time top scorer list… never mind Trez, Benz, Zidane, Platini… but, yeah, he’s hit ‘n miss!


Is jesus finishing ratio any better than Giroud , Jesus missed sitters all season ,( similar to Giroud), the one that leaps to mind is at Anfield at 3-1 up
Jesus better dribbling , Giroud better in the air …


Yeah – he’s really average… no idea how he managed to knock TH14 off France’s all-time top scorer spot???!
We coulda had him back for ONE million quid – you saying you wouldn’t have fancied him on bench for those crucial late season games where we desperately needed a winner? For pocket change???

Bollocks mate.


Dude could hold off two defenders with the ball whilst waiting for Sanchez, Ramsey to get forward, then backheel a pass, do a one two and finish with any kind of header… Are you thinking of Djourou?


In my mind, the next evolution for this team is to be able to play with an out and out goal scorer and not needing the centre forward to be so key to playmaking. As good as Xhaka was this season, a left 8 with more playmaking ability would surely take some of that responsibility from our 9s and allow players like Nketiah and Balogun to focus more on what they are good at. Whether the net performance change is positive or negative though is anyones guess. Just because it worked for City with a freak of nature like Haaland… Read more »


I’d add to that the fact that Granit nicked his best goal haul ever, by some distance and he missed equally as many by not having the quick-feet and striker instincts of an ESR, for example.
That simply shows that the opportunities were there a-plenty in the opposition box…

Cannon and ball and arsen’all

I’m glad I’m not the only one who is down with KH.. I’ve seen a fair bit of negative feedback – but if you look at the system that is being sought then it is hard to find a more scintillating fit. Rice/jorg as ball playing 6s in the Rodri mould (whilst zinny drops in at extra pivot out of possession – KH/ESR/MO/Vieira in the two no10s at 8 role (hello KDB and Bernardo/Foden). The issue we have is that partey can’t do what Rodri does when it comes to possession retention, and xhaka can’t do what KDB and Silva… Read more »

A Different George

I did not see him play a Ligue 1 match; I don’t think highlights explain much. When he played for Arsenal early last season he was quite clearly not ready for Premier League action–or maybe any senior action–and a loan was an obvious decision. I’m certain the year playing regularly in France, against senior players, has improved him. Enough to compete with Gabriel Jesus? Probably not.


yes, he may be but … we need to be reminded that Laca in the french league Laca has outscored him, in goals and assists, has a better shot accuracy and conversion rate. Only Mbappe outperformed Laca.


Laca got his mojo back for sure


I still say he looks like Robbie Earle.


I’m baffled at how we can be so willing to let Balogun leave while keeping Nketiah.

Nketiah is 24 and has no experience of leading the line for a full season, not even in the Championship. We already know his ceiling. He’s a poacher and has a very limited skillset and even then he misses a lot of chances.


Absolutely, plus Balogun offers us something different. I think the issue might be that Flo would be playing second fiddle to Jesus which he might not be happy with. Plus we can get good money for him that we won’t get with Eddie, especially with his 100k Bosman-induced wages.


Surely the fact Nketiah is happy to do that is worrying?

We should never have given him such wages, many thought it would come back to bite us then, and if we can’t sell Nketiah now then they’ll be proven right


I would prefer to keep Balogun before Nketiah, however I think selling both this window could be good business IF we can include the right clauses as well as investing in, for the moment, better players during this summer window.

Naked Cygan

He stepped in when Jesus was away and did a great Job. Agree about his ceiling but he did get the winner against Man Utd and that is sooooo statisfing. If we could sell him for 20 million we should take it.

Crash Fistfight

Probably because nobody is willing to offer anything for Nketiah. Who’d have thought the teams lower down the PL who would likely want him, wouldn’t want to pay him £100k/week?

Also, I think Balogun will leave one way or the other, unless he’s first choice, so we might as well get money for him while we can.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

West Ham is interested in Eddie. Any mid-table to bottom half team would be interested in Eddie. Eddie doesn’t score coming off the bench so he is essentially an insurance policy against injury to Jesus. We need more out of that position. Move Eddie, rotate Balogun in those PL home games right after the CL games. Flo can also rotate on the wing.

Crash Fistfight

Is that an actual rumour? 🙏🏻


Agreed – to me it comes down to as simple as this: Flo was sent on loan to develop and show how he could grow – and boy did he do exactly that. Eddie – whether by Jesus’ injury or whatever – was at last given a run in the side. Initially delivered and looked like he was destined to finally fulfil all the youth potential. Except the poor decision-making and profligate finishing returned to haunt his game when we really needed him. Bottom line – Eddie has had his chance. Flo has earned his. Not saying we must sell… Read more »


Seems like a head strong lad, obviously knows what he wants and I’m not sure Arsenal will give him the kind of assurances he is looking for. Having said that there is definitely a place for him in the squad and he will get minutes and potentially force Arteta to give him the game time he wants, no doubt about his qualities, just hope he gets his opportunity with us, we are not exactly overloaded with prolific goals scorer’s at the moment.


AFAIK he has not asked for assurances, either sell him or put him in contention as a striker, if we don’t sell him and next year he does not play enough, he will not renew , simple as


What I am not hearing from Balogun is the desire to “fight” for his place. He’s not going to walk into the team. I hear him say he wants to play and be a first choice striker, I hear him say he doesn’t want to go on loan again but not one ” I’m willing to fight for my place to be no 1″. I think all the hype is getting to him a bit. He’s a good player and he could be great but I have to say, his last contract negotiation was similar, ” Give me this or… Read more »


TBH I’m not happy with the statement. Better if he discusses his plans with Mikel and Edu rather than media.


Absolutely. I get that he’s trying to put pressure on us, but that reflects badly on his mindset, and I’m quite sure Mikel won’t be impressed.

Heavenly Chapecoense

When you know you are better than Nketiah and the manager clearly said you were behind him, what other mindset could you have?

Naked Cygan

To be fair Nketiah got his goals in the Premier League against the likes Chelsea and United. Flo got his goals in the same country Pepe was scoring and we paid 70 million for Pepe. Pardon my French.


I understand why he made that statement, but it would have been better for him to keep his options open, especially when his agents are about to discuss his future with his current employer. Perhaps he needs to add more media training to his ‘to do’ list.


There’s nothing wrong with such statement. he is stating the obvious as another loan will suit neither Flo, nor Arsenal. From Arsenal’s perspective, going on loan means that Balogun’s deal needs to be extended by one year. He is aware that clubs have been asking for him, but perhaps only on a loan basis. If we want to sell him we need to know that the interested clubs are willing to meet the asking price, otherwise he sits on the bench and waits for his opportunity in the PL and CL. there will be a lot of high profile matches… Read more »

The Far Post

Can someone please explain to me why Balogun doesn’t want another loan? Surely if he gets to play regularly at a decent club, it shouldn’t matter? Maybe the second part is the problem? A loan at the beginning of the season usually would be to loweer calibre clubs? Thanks.


He wants to showcase his talents on the big stage. Confidence is a great asset for a striker and as long as he isnt undermining the club or his coworkers, who cares if he’s a little outspoken about his ambitions.


Don’t agree – he was asked a straight question by an interviewer and he gave a very honest answer. Firstly, that he’s not sure of where he stands with Arsenal atm (which is hardly his fault!). Secondly, that – after the season he’s just had, he does not want to go out on loan again… fair play, and totally within his rights give an honest opinion on something that NB to him. He’s done everything the club has asked of him. He’s entitled to express some of his own thoughts about his future, surely? For me, Edu and Mik should… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

As a “winning mentalitist”, I see some good ingredients in his approach that you perhaps don’t see.


Don’t get me wrong. He is saying the right thing, but to the wrong person.


He is simply giving a straight answer to a straight question.


I can’t really see a situation in which he stays, which I think is a massive shame, because as much as I like Eddie, in terms of ceiling I think Balogun is significantly higher


Personally, I feel he’s hungrier than Eddie to make in impact. in my limited knowledge I think I’d be looking to sell Eddie and bring this lad in if he’s up for it.


Same, Eddie has been a good steward, but good isn’t enough anymore. I’d much rather we went into the season with Flo as our second choice up front. I think Eddie would do wonders at a team like Newcastle.


We shouldn’t be doing liv-on-tyneside any favors. 100m or jog on.


IMO – if any offers over 30m come in, sell him with a “first dibs” clause in case he gets even better at the new club.


first dibs, buy backs, sell on clauses, all impact on the final price that a team is willing to pay, they just don’t get added on for nothing.


The idea that he must stay and is a bona-fide star after one season in Ligue Un (where a certain A. Lacazette outscored him after being woeful in his final season in the PL) is premature in my view. That he chose the easier option of electing for the U.S rather than pursue a place in the far better England side doesn’t convince me either.
So, I think we should sell while his value is high but retain the option to buy him back if he proves subsequently to be the genuine article (in a tougher league). 🤷‍♂️


And see– here’s where Flo may actually be being realistic with himself. He sees where the paths to his best future are open. Striking while his iron is hot– is the best thing for him now.

He’s playing as the #1 striker for the USMNT– and he wants to be a #1 for his club. I’m good with that perspective.

If he is as good as all that? He’ll end up at a big club soon enough.

Balogun is making solid choices– for his career.


There’s a bit of a conflict of interest as he’s represented by the same agent as our number 2 striker. He ideally doesn’t want his two clients being numbers 2 and 3 in the Peking order hence the noise. If we can get big bucks for him, selling him would be the better option. He appears to have all the ingredients of a disgruntled player on the bench, stewing up discontent and all.


The whole thing gives Andy Cole situation flashbacks. Just not sure he’d be happy to play second fiddle to Gabi J even if we were to sell Nketiah (which I don’t see happening). I do think he’d at least match Nketiah’s output, and we could regret letting him go… but – much as I love both lads – part of me says sell both and go for a more elite option. Which is rather wishful thinking.

Ethan Hunt

Come to think of it….There is a bit of Andy Cole in his style of play too….And I do think that when he reach his peak one day; at his best he could be as deadly as Andy Cole was in his pomp for MU n NU. From what I’ve seen of his highlight reels this season; much like Andy, he is a predator who look faster and sharper than everyone else inside the box, but I do feel players like this, and especially one as young as him, needs to play regularly to maintain their confidence and sharpness. Earlier,… Read more »


I think he should be offered a one year extension to his contract – give him the opportunity to stay and fight for a position in the first team. Hopefully he would be willing to give it a year at Arsenal. If he doesn’t get the game time he wants, agree to let him move on next Summer. If he doesn’t agree to the extension, sell him now while he has a couple of years on his contract. He does sound a little bit petulant but perhaps I am just misinterpreting his confidence in his own abilities. I do agree… Read more »

Emi Rates

What we need is an upgrade on Jesus, not on Nketiah. A physical 30 PL goals a season machine who can complement Jesus up front and not be wiped out by big defenders.

Is Balogun that guy? If he is then keep him. If he isn’t then sell him and Nketiah and find the goal machine.


There is really space/games for Balogun, Jesus and Nketiah next season. Jesus can play wide and offers cover there, and they can all be used situationally in the middle. Politics probably get in the way.

Emi Rates

I have a feeling Balogun will be persuaded to stay and then we’ll get to see him, Eddie and Jesus underperform. Not badly maybe but it’ll be the usual 10-15 goals from Eddie, similar by Balogun and Jesus will have two months off injured and struggle to get between big fucking defenders just when we most need him to score. It’ll again be on Saka and Martinelli to pick of the goal slack, Rice too if we manage to sign him, and we’ll get the odd corner header from Gabriel. I’d like to see an Aubameyang in his prime level… Read more »


It’s certainly a risk. And that’s the big question for the management. I’m not sure what works better; keep all 3, use Jesus as the cover out wide and use this window’s money to invest in the midfield (does it make Rice +Caicedo an option?) as there are more quality options available there it seems to me. A stronger midfield will give the forwards their best chance to shine. Or, get Rice, sell Balogun and possibly Nketiah and go for an elite level striker, of which the only one ‘available’ is Osimhen – and that’s a push financially if he’d… Read more »


I don’t think that we are in the market for that type of player. of the current PL players only Mitrovic may have that potential, it seems his deal runs out next year


actually runs until 2026

Emi Rates

I’ve enjoyed watching Mitrovic this last season but I reckoned him at Arsenal wasn’t realistic.


Yea Mitrovic would be an interesting signing, But think Kai is the plan slotting in to Xhakas slot, Rice into Parteys and the lad from So’ton as back up.


People keep saying this about Jesus but he would likely be 20+ goals and assists in a season if not for his injury. We have 5 players capable of that, who all interchange and set each other up.

If we go for some finishing machine who needs service rom the others that’s going to change the whole dynamic of the attack. Maybe that’s not the plan.


Please keep him, might not work out but he could also be a superstar in the making


Good for him. He just wants to sort out his career. We should give him a squad number and give him a chance. Like other oldies I remember us letting Andy Cole walking away for nothing then becoming a superstar at Newcastle and Man United.

Show Nketiah the door and give Flo a chance!


Good for him! He deserves a shot at the first team, after excelling on loan. How much would it cost us to sign a 20 goal striker from France? A lot more than £30 million!


Laca scored more in the French league, which seems to be a lukewarm competition. Of course I hope that Balogun will score more for the Arsenal


Laca played for a better team…


He really was good for the USMNT last night (but Canada were truly awful). Flo’s movement off the ball is better than Eddie’s, and if he were to hang around next season at the expense of nketiah I’d be okay with it as he offers more than penalty box poaching.

SLC Gooner

Small sample size, and the opposition wasn’t great, but he definitely offered something Arsenal could use in those US matches. Couple of moves with decisive speed and power. At this point, I’d certainly take him over Nketiah, plus it’s likely he helps marketing in the US.
But if he wants to be the main #1 starter, not sure it will work.


He will have to earn his place, just like everyone else in the team.

El Mintero

It will work if he bangs them in every week and does what Eddie and Jesus struggle to do…


Aside from Bellingham to Madrid, not a lot is happening in terms of big European deals because the Saudi process has to play itself out first. That will represent the first wave of deals this summer and those funds will be recirculated in Europe in the second wave of deals. Balogun will be part of the second wave. His future seems entirely about the size of offers that come in and how Arteta rates him against Eddie. The irony about our strikers is that Eddie and Flo are both probably better natural goal scorers than Jesus, but Jesus is by… Read more »


The Saudi process isn’t going to play out or go away. They’re trying to buy the premier league in the same way they bought the PGA tour.


This is an interesting discussion. I was going to say that just won’t work as most fans simply cannot and won’t change allegiance, but I was only really thinking of domestic supporters, and overlooking the millions of fans worldwide that follow EPL teams non-domestic to themselves. Even then, I’m not sure it works the same way as individual sports. They are certainly doing their best to cover all bases buying foreign teams as well as investing in their domestic league though. It will be ‘interesting’ to see how it all plays out over the next 10 years.


They’re infusion of funding into Europe will aide the leagues initially, especially Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Holland. But eventually the Saudi recruitment strategy could further reduce the number of top players available to those leagues, relegating them even further to ‘feeder leagu’e’ status. Agreed, an interesting 10 years ahead…


Consideing that Flo’s goals-to-Chelsea-subsidy ratio is the highest in the world, very difficult to see why we’re unsure about him but apparently set on Havertz. False 9, link up play, sure, but there’s an uncomfortably large chance this is Welbeck redux.


Before jumping on the Balogun bandwagon let’s remember that Lacazette scored the number of goals. That is not to say that Balogun will not beome a good striker but PL is very different to Ligue1.

On a separate note, I think that if Jesus can be improved to stay around the box a little more he can score 25 in a PL season.


Smashed it a farmers league. £50m bid and see ya. Was the point of the loan or sign a contract extension and fight for a place at The Arsenal. Either way, shhhh with the sound bites.

Merlin’s Panini

I think he should be given some preseason before a decision is made. Arteta needs to get a closer look at him now to see if he can cut it. If he can then it would be stupid to sell him. If not, his stock will still be high following the season he’s just had.


*whispers* …Buy back clause…

Teryima Adi

The lad is so brash and vocal though. Let’s see where this ends.


The next World Cup is in the USA, he’s going to be their Starboy’ centre forward. Arsenal are owned by ? yes Yanks who must see a commercial possibilty in this. Wonder if they may flex their muscles and insist he stays at Arsenal.


Isn’t this exactly what Smith Road said just before we loaned him to Huddersfield?


Players who talk like that just trigger me. I’d struggle not to just sit him down for a year.


Got to give him a chance


We need to understand that with Jesus in front we won’t be able to seriously challenge City. We need a world class striker and Jesus is not. City sold him for a reason. For me we should focus on Balogun and Nketiah and see if they can develop into world class strikers. Nketiah had a great run, there’s talent there, maybe if he works on his confidence he could be better than Jesus. Balogun has maybe even better potential. We need to stop buying City’s and Chelsea’ rejects and continue developing our own youth, like Saka, Martinelli, Odeggard, Saliba. We… Read more »

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