Bournemouth are reportedly in pole position to secure the services of Arsenal forward Folarin Balogun in the January transfer window.
According to Dorset Live, Bournemouth are closing in on the January capture of Folarin Balogun. Arsenal are expected to sanction a loan deal for the attacker next month, with multiple clubs interested in his services. But it appears the Cherries have trumped other suitors, including Millwall, Saint-Etienne and Swansea City, in the race to sign the young forward, who is prepared to take the next step in his career.
Regarded as one of the most talented players to come out from the Arsenal academy in recent years, Balogun has had an unfortunate couple of years. He was expected to make his breakthrough last season, but the forward was often overlooked by Mikel Arteta despite his two goals in five Europa League appearances. In fact, the youngster ended up failing to feature in a single league game.
While that has changed in the new season, it has largely been the same story for Balogun. As we head to the halfway point of the campaign, the 20-year-old has made two league appearances, falling behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and even Eddie Nketiah in the pecking order.
As a result, Arsenal are now prepared to ship the striker out elsewhere in order to gain some much-needed game-time in professional football. The forward was courted by Ligue 1 outfit Saint-Etienne earlier in the season, but it seems Bournemouth have emerged as the likely suitor.
The Cherries are in the market for a new forward in January, with coach Scott Parker keen on finding an alternative for Dominic Solanke. Folarin Balogun fits the bill well due to his speed and efficiency in front of goal. The Arsenal youth sensation also offers a lot of work ethic in the final third, making him an ideal fit in Parker’s tactical setup.
Balogun might not be the only striker leaving Arsenal in January, though. His former partner in the youth team, Eddie Nketiah, for one, has remained a target for Premier League clubs Crystal Palace and Leeds United, whereas Juventus and Newcastle United are in the market for Alexandre Lacazette.
Even Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been a subject of interest for top clubs across Europe, including Real Madrid. So it will be interesting to see how the Gunners plan their squad overhaul in January.