Saint-Etienne are interested in signing Folarin Balogun on loan in January after watching the striker with the Arsenal U-23 side.
According to The Sun, Arsenal starlet Folarin Balogun is attracting interest from the French side Saint-Etienne who had scouts watching him during a recent U-23 game. The forward remains on board to move on loan in January to further his development.
It was a surprise when Mikel Arteta opted to start Folarin Balogun on the opening matchday during Arsenal’s shock loss to newcomers Brentford. The striker has made one more appearance in the Premier League and has since been sent back to play for the U-23 side.
Over there, Balogun has continued to score goals, amassing 15 strikes this season in all competitions, with 14 coming in the Premier League-2. Recently during his team’s loss to Derby County, the forward scored a scintillating hat-trick as Saint-Etienne’s leading scout Romain Barq watched from the stands and was left impressed with the youngster’s performance.
After his performances for the U-23 team, many have called on Arsenal to send him on loan to develop him further and gain weekly playing time with a senior team. The Gunners remain open to a temporary move and could evaluate offers for the striker in the January window.
Middlesbrough are thought to be interested as new manager Chris Wilder is a fan of the striker. He also tried to sign him before his contract renewal at the Emirates. With his future secure with Arsenal, Arteta might want the club to search for opportunities where Balogun can play regularly and have good exposure.
Saint-Etienne could be a good place to go, considering their standing in the top tier of French football. This season, the club have struggled and are seated at the bottom of the Ligue 1 table. They are on the lookout for a striker who promises goals and helps them into the safety zone by the end of the season.
If he joins, Balogun could also play top-tier football compared to turning up in the Championship if he decides to move to Middlesbrough. William Saliba could become an example for the striker as the defender excels at Marseille with regular football. Balogun has loads of talent in his locker and needs a chance to play at the top level; whether it is in England’s tier-two league or in the French Ligue 1 is a question January will answer.