Arsenal starlet admits he has improved on loan (plus video)

Arsenal loanee admits he has improved on loan

Folarin Balogun, who’s currently plying his trade at Championship club Middlesbrough, has admitted that his loan move has benefitted his development.

The young striker was offloaded on a temporary basis in January to aid his development. Since his arrival at Boro, he has gone onto appear an impressive 15 times.

It’s clear that after having looked out of place in the Arsenal first team in the first half of the campaign, he’s finally getting the opportunities he needs to develop as a player.

“I have definitely become a lot more mature,” Balogun said on Football365.

“Playing in the Under-23s I could get away with things sometimes but transitioning to men’s football I’ve noticed you need to play with your head a bit more and know when to do certain things.

“My game’s come on but I know there’s still a lot more I can do to improve. I wouldn’t say every player needs a loan. Every player has a different journey. Looking at mine, at the time a loan was the right thing to do so I went ahead with it.

“It’s an opportunity to learn. Any opportunity to learn is worth it. I wouldn’t say I go into games thinking I need to impress. I’m in this position because of my quality.

“It’s not something I need to show, I just need to do it on a more consistent basis.”

With Alexander Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah both out of contract in the summer, it is no secret that Arsenal will enter the market hoping to sign a big-name player.

However, having a good back-up is also a necessary piece of the puzzle that needs filling. And that’s where Balogun can see himself if he keeps on improving at the Riverside Stadium.

Staff at London Colney and the club’s faithful have high hopes for the Hale End graduate. The question is not whether he will hit the ground running on the big stage or not.

The question is when?

Yash Bisht

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  1. “We don’t buy stars we make them” it is written on the Emirates stadium. But only 3 out of the present 20 man squad is home grown. So in truth we actually buy 90% of our stars. I think it would be great if we truly lived up to that motto by only bringing in players from our academy for the next three seasons and see if we really can succeed with our own talent. So accordingly we should use Martinelli Nketiah and Balogun as our three strikers next season wth support from Pepe Odegaard ESR and Saka.

    1. So next season you want to see the player who ignited our season on the wing, play up front… with Nketiah who isn’t scoring and Balogun who is on loan behind Nketiah… just to prove a point?
      Quick way for MA to lose his job, especially with champs league likely in the cards… very interesting opinion

    2. I think the motto would apply to players like Henry, anelka, Vieira, petit, Ljungberg, kolo – players we bought for relatively low fees who weren’t that well known, but turned into big names during their time here. It’s not all about bringing home grown players through the academy, though of course that would be ideal.
      Going into next season with martinelli, Nketiah and balogun as our strikers would be suicide imo. One hasn’t played much as a striker and hasn’t looked great when he has, one has had ample opportunity to prove himself, and hasn’t, and the other is still learning and likely wouldn’t be ready to start many games next season, may even need another loan to keep growing.

    3. “We don’t buy stars we make them” not only refers to the homegrown players it also means we buy players who are NOT necessarily stars at that point in time, we develop them into a top player, think Fabregas, Henry, Petit, Vieira , Tierney, RVP, Overmars etc

  2. I’m sure every player in Middlesbrough team would love to have a contract with the mighty Arsenal so Balogun should think himself fortunate and as he said himself he needs to be more consistent and be patience and his time will come, i feel we cannot have Martinelli and Balogun two young developing strikers playing together in the CL but would work if we only get EC, I strongly believe and want a tried and tested top striker this summer if we are in the CL

  3. That’s what we want to hear from someone on loan for that reason isn’t it?

    I seriously doubt that Balogun has “improved” much as a player in that short time but what it seems to have done is leveled his head a bit, if he didn’t know before he knows now that there is a big gap between Under 23s and Premier League and there is a lot he needs to improve, improvement starts in the head on most occasions

    By the way, even a literal translation of ” We don’t buy stars we make them” doesn’t mean all of our players have to come through the Hale End process but it’s obviously a soundbite anyway

    My interpretation of that is that we don’t seek to buy ready made “stars” we buy players with the potential to be so and then try to get them there

    I guess the best, most extreme example of that in relatively recent history would be Vieira but we have a few that we have bought in the side right now who could end up there as well

    But we also have Ashley Cole in our recent history, who came through the ranks at Arsenal and became World class winning a lot of medals for us before winning more elsewhere

    Saka has that same potential now

  4. Balogun needs to continue on loan next campaign if he wants to develop faster. He can’t be trusted to lead the line next season and he will spend much time on the bench. He can join another championship club or an average PL club where he can have more game time.

    We need 2 good strikers if Laca is leaving otherwise, his contract can be extended and then we sign a good striker like Nunes, Martinez or Osihmen not Isak who is facing a goal drought. If we sign David, we still need another striker. Players from the weak French Ligue 1 are not to be trusted.

    I will also go with Gakpo, Nkunku or Diaby to provide viable options at the wings if Pepe is leaving.

  5. No, YASH, the question is still WILL HE, and not yet “when will he”. It is vital to first know for near certain that any player on loan will improve sufficiently to play a part in our future first team.

    Never ask the “when wilL he ” question until, you know for near certain- which as yet we do NOT know- whether he EVER WILL make the level we need. We are not even near knowuing that for certain yet and IMO will not be for some good time yet.

    Personally, I see him as being very raw and with a great deal still to prove, before we start getting aheadof ourselves. Sober minded reality, Yash!

    1. My opinion. You are a pedantic annoyance.
      In my mind Balogun is a genius finisher at a very young age. The championship is the final step in his development into stardom at Arsenal. He has handled every step, but the one straight from the U23 to playing against Chelsea was just touch too much…

      1. My my Ad PAT! Finally a reaction, of sorts, from you , after all this time of your constantly ignoring my pleas – wonders will never cease – to my constant plea for accuracy in words.

        Though I note with no real surprise whatsoever that even in your reply you choose to describe Balogun as “a genius finisher”, a ridiculously misused phrase more properly applied to such as Henry, Ronaldo, Messi and that ilk of player.

        Obviously truth and accuracy is not important to you, though it is to me. Sigh!

        1. It is my opinion, so it IS truth and accuracy in my eyes. You are welcome to disagree, but you won’t be able to prove me wrong until he reaches full potential.

          1. Excellent to read that you have faith in Balogun Pat, he is indeed still a fine prospect

            To be fair I don’t think it was the game against the European Champions that dented some fan’s thoughts about him, or even the game against the Championship winners before that

            But I believe the Sunderland Carabao Cup game indicated he wasn’t quite ready yet and a loan to a Championship Club seems like the right move for this season at least

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