Middlesbrough has reportedly shown interest in Folarin Balogun. The 20-year-old striker is currently lacking game time and might head out on loan in search of more game time.
Balogun signed a new deal with Arsenal until 2025 in the spring. He is considered an important part of Arsenal’s long-term plans.
According to The Sun, Middlesbrough is one of several Championship clubs hoping to secure Balogun’s services in 2022. Middlesbrough is currently at the top of the EFL Championship and is looking for a top striker.
Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder attempted to sign him during his time when he was in charge of Sheffield United.
The England Under-21s international continues to be largely restricted to appearances for the youth teams, despite Aubameyang’s stint out of the team.
The 20-year-old has 13 goals from 11 Premier League 2 appearances this season. He has made a total of 10 appearances for the Arsenal first team, banking two goals, and one assist in the Europa League last season.
Other interested clubs
Although Middlesbrough is leading the race to sign him, the French side Saint-Etienne is also monitoring his situation.
Arsenal’s stand on their young prodigy
Arsenal academy manager Per Mertesacker hinted that Balogun would head out on loan to Middlesbrough in January.
“I think the closest, at the moment, to make that step is Flo Balogun.
“He’s transferred in to the first-team dressing room.
“He still plays Under-23s football and probably most likely will go on loan in January because you need extra exposure to get to that next level so he needs to make that transition.”
However, it is clear that Arsenal has full faith in the youngster and considers him as an integral part of their plans. Adding to that Nketiah and Lacazette are both out of contract at the end of the current campaign. This might lead The Gunners depleted upfront in the coming summer. Nevertheless, it will act as a boon for the young striker to showcase himself in the team.