Boro coach raves about Arsenal player
Championship club Middlesbrough have finally sealed the deal for Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun.
The 20-year-old will spend the remainder of the season at Riverside Stadium and will be hoping to impress the staff back at London Colney.
The American-born Englishman has made 10 appearances for the Gunners, scoring twice and assisting once.
Hey @Balogun 👋
— Middlesbrough FC (@Boro) January 12, 2022
However, at the Premier League stage, Balogun has looked like a player not ready for the step-up.
Getting minutes ahead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexander Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli proved a hill too high for the youngster.
But regular playing time at Middlesbrough can genuinely develop his game. Everybody knows his capability. He just needs to get the taste of men’s football.
Middlesbrough will complete the loan signing of Arsenal youngster Folarin Balogun today. Middlesbrough will pay a loan fee of around £1m, will cover 15% of Balogun’s salary & manager Chris Wilder told the player he will be used as a central striker. [@ChrisWheatley_] #afc pic.twitter.com/9623Mk3cbK
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) January 11, 2022
Boro’s coach Chris Wilder, who previously tried to sign him for his former club Sheffield United, was pleased that the Arsenal man has signed for his current club.
“We’re delighted to get Flo in. He’s a player I’ve known about for a long time, and we identified him as someone who could come in and improve us in the second half of the season.
He continued, “He has great movement, good pace, and he’s a natural finisher. We’re looking forward to working with him.”
Wilder will now hope that his new recruit pushes them into the play-off positions of the Championship. And maybe even an unexpected promotion back to the Premier League.
Calculated and smart from Arteta – Balogun will play in a split striker system where he will be required to complete the role of a left-winger/striker i.e. run the channels, press, hold the ball up, combine on the sides, create, make penetrative runs, 1v1 dribbling.
Perfect fit. pic.twitter.com/5u970egELM
— EBL (@EBL2017) January 5, 2022
I’ll be looking forward to how he performs in England’s second tier competition.
Come next season, when Aubameyang, Lacazette and Nketiah might have already left the club, Balogun can prove to be a backup to a center forward Arsenal have been desperate to sign this month.
His versatility can also come handy a lot in the next campaign. But first of all, let’s see how he copes up on Teeside.
Balogun has now joined up with Ainsley Maitland-Niles in departing the Emirates Stadium in the winter transfer window.