Mikel Arteta set to sanction January loan deal to resolve Arsenal ‘striker problem’

Mikel Arteta has promoted Folarin Balogun to the first team after signing a new contract with Arsenal after months of negotiations, however, opportunities are still hard to come by.

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Deserved no more than a point: Arteta on Brighton game

Arsenal are preparing to allow Folarin Balogun to leave the club on a short-term loan deal in January, according to reports.

Mikel Arteta received a major boost at the end of last season, when the 20-year-old turned around to sign an extended deal after months of protracted negotiations.

Balogun was then promoted to the first team, but has continued to find his opportunities limited since the start of the season.

On the opening day of the new campaign, Balogun was a surprise starter, with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being ruled out against Brentford.

But once the senior forwards returned, he only made one more Premier League match squad, coming off the bench against Chelsea in late August.








Folarin Balogun started on opening day as Arsenal were beaten by Brentford
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Picture:

REUTERS)




He has since returned with the Under-23s, where he continued his prolific scoring record, finding the net six times in four games and winning a nomination for Premier League 2 Player of the Month.

Many expected Balogun to be given a more central role in their Carabao Cup campaign, but so far he has only played seven minutes in both matches.

There was criticism of Arteta in the third round in particular, when the Spaniard opted to pitch Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah, both of whom look set to leave the Emirates at the end of the season.





And Football.London reports that if he finds opportunities that remain hard to find, he will be allowed to leave temporarily to gain more experience in senior football.

This is the path taken by Emile Smith Rowe, who shone in stints with RB Leipzig and Huddersfield, before his stint as one of Arsenal’s main men.

Balogun’s older brother Royce threatened to incur the wrath of Arteta by suggesting the Arsenal boss had an “attacking problem” with the system he was using.







Mikel Arteta ready to approve move for Balogun, reports show



After his brother’s debut against the Bees, Royce told the What is football podcast: “When you look at this attacking problem, in terms of the opportunities created, it’s not just Folarin, it was there when [Gabriel] Martinelli was playing there, when Aubameyang was playing there – the system doesn’t work.

“You can’t blame a player for that, it’s more of a systematic thing. Every time I talk to Folarin I tell him to keep going, but the system just isn’t really working right now.

“Soon it will work, there will be movement and you have to be ready when it does.

“At the same time, there is really nothing you can do, you just have to support, keep talking and tell her to keep holding.”


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