Will Folarin Balogun return to Arsenal? Ian Wright explains why USMNT target is a ‘guarantee’ of goals for Gunners

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Folarin Balogun Arsenal
Ian Wright is hoping to see Folarin Balogun “prove himself” at Arsenal in 2023-24 after generating plenty of excitement while on loan at Reims.
  • Striker spending 2022-23 in France
  • Has found the target on 18 occasions
  • Big decisions to make with club and country

WHAT HAPPENED? The 21-year-old striker, who is under contract with the Gunners through to 2025, has registered 18 goals this season while picking up vital experience in France. Balogun now finds himself at the centre of an international allegiance tug of war between England and the United States, while questions are being asked of whether his future at club level could lie outside of north London – which some big decisions needing to be made in the coming months.

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WHAT THEY SAID: Arsenal legend Wright, who scored 185 goals for the Gunners, has told the Wrighty’s House podcast when pressed on whether Balogun should form part of Mikel Arteta’s plans next season: “Hopefully he can come back to Arsenal at some stage and prove himself. He’s gone to another level in confidence. I think anywhere he goes in aspect of leagues; he’ll do what he is doing (in France) with the right service. It’s the way he’s taking those chances. His head space is at a different place right now. He knows he can do it right now. I guarantee you if he comes back, he probably picks up from what he’s doing in that league.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Balogun is yet to reveal his intentions when it comes to domestic and international football, although he did withdraw from the latest England U21 squad – as the USMNT tries to get him to commit to the country of his birth – and Arsenal already have the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah on their books.


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Folarin Balogun Reims 2022-23

Folarin Balogun

Arsenal Mikel Arteta Folarin Balogun

WHAT NEXT? For now, Balogun is focused on ending the current campaign as positively as possible, with there every chance that he will break the 20-goal barrier having previously only found the target on five occasions across his 10 competitive outings for Arsenal and a frustrating loan spell at Middlesbrough in 2021-22.