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Falorin Balogun close to joining Reims on loan

The English striker looks to ply his trade in Ligue 1 this season

Arsenal v Sunderland - Carabao Cup Quarter Final Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

After speculation all summer that he would be sent out on loan for another season, Fabrizio Romano confirmed that Arsenal striker Falorin Balogun is on the verge of joining French side Reims on loan through June of 2023 pending a medical next week.

It felt like it was always a matter of “when,” not “if,” Arsenal would be sending the English U21 international back out on loan. Arsenal’s acquisition of Gabriel Jesus in June and extension of Eddie Nketiah meant that the Hale End product would be third choice in Arteta’s striker pecking order, and despite a relative abundance of cup and Europa League group stage matches, playing regularly in the top flight is a far better move for Balogun in the long run.

Balogun is a bit of a tweener at this point in his career - he’s too good for the Academy side, but is too green to be The Guy at a high level just yet. It was apparent that the striker had outgrown the Arsenal academy side last season when he was sent to Middlesborough in January of 2021, where he featured in 18 matches and scored 3 goals. Even with half of a season of experience, it wasn’t quite enough for the attacker to distinguish himself enough to push Eddie Nketiah for the second striker roll.

Ligue 1 has been a popular landing spot for Arsenal’s young talent as of late, and Arteta certainly will hope that Flo will enjoy the same kind of growth and success that William Saliba famously had in France. Following his medical, Balogun will join loanee Nuno Tavares, who joined Marseille for a season-long loan last week, in Ligue 1 for the 2022-23 season.