Balogun opens up on Emirates frustrations
Nigerian-eligible striker Folarin Balogun has opened up on his decision to leave Arsenal on loan in the summer transfer window revealing that he was frustrated with his playing time at the Emirates, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
Balogun opted to join Ligue 1 side Reims on a season-long loan in the summer and has proven to be a huge hit in the French top-flight. The 21-year-old says he decided to look for a move away from the Gunners after failing to play on the club’s pre-season tour as he needed to be valued at international level.
“Last summer, I went on tour with the first team to America. I didn’t get any playing time out there, so I was a bit frustrated. It’s one of my dreams to just play in the first team,” he told the club’s media.
“I had to be realistic at the same time. I spoke to Mikel (Arteta), and he gave me a few options. And together, we decided it’d be best for me to come to France. A lot of people might forget that I am still an Arsenal player.
“How Mikel (Arteta) has transformed the squad has been amazing. So, I mean, I’m pretty focused here (Reims), determined to show people that this isn’t a blip, this is something that I could do consistently,” Balogun said.
Balogun has impressed in France this season, scoring 17 goals in just 27 matches. The youngster has said he’s not surprised at all by his numbers since moving to the Ligue 1 side and has vowed to continue showing people what he can do.
Reims president Jean-Pierre Caillot has said it will be impossible for his side to sign Balogun permanently and expects the forward to move to a big side if he does not return to Arsenal.
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