'He's got something special' - Mikel Arteta reveals Arsenal's plan for Folarin Balogun
- Balogun has scored 14 times for Reims
- Striker tied to Arsenal until 2025
- Gunners will assess situation in summer
WHAT HAPPENED? Balogun has impressed on loan at Reims this season, scoring an incredible 14 times in 21 Ligue 1 games. The 21-year-old's performances in France mark a significant improvement on his spell on loan at Championship side Middlesbrough last season and Arteta is convinced by his ability.
WHAT THEY SAID: "So happy for him. He’s a boy with a really clear idea of what he wants to do in his career. Really ambitious, really committed and he’s really brave," he said at a press conference. "We discussed before whether it was the right place to go and other choices that he had. He was so convinced and I’m really happy for him because he deserves what he’s getting.
"He’s got something special. That’s why we gave him a long-term contract and have faith in him, and give him the long period that he’s having now, because the period he’s having now is different to the one before at Middlesbrough."
He added: "The plan is that he finishes his period there, assess the situation where he is, where we are, then sit down and plan the next chapter in his developing career."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Balogun signed a new contract with Arsenal last year, tying him to the club until 2025. He will hope to follow in the footsteps of William Saliba, who has played a key role at Arsenal since returning from his loan spell at Marseille last year.
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WHAT NEXT FOR ARSENAL? Arteta's team sit five points clear at the top of the Premier League and will hope to defend that lead this weekend when they host Brentford.