Arsenal fans will hate the first thing Reims did with Balogun

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner 5 Aug 2022 10:42 BST 3 min read
Folarin Balogun, Arsenal, 2021/22

Arsenal sent Folarin Balogun on loan to Ligue 1 side Reims earlier this week, but the Gunners might have legitimate concerns over his wellbeing in France following his first task for the club.

Balogun is Reims’ marquee summer signing, having been drafted in for the year to replace promising forward Hugo Ekitike, who has moved to PSG.

Reims' Balogun stunt

As the Champagne side’s biggest arrival, he was drafted in to promote the club’s new third shirt, which involved the 21-year-old stalking around an abandoned building waving flares before being found perched on a sign on the roof, wearing the smart new kit of the Ligue 1 side.

Given the state of repair that the building is in, Arsenal might be worried about just how seriously their French counterparts are taking the health and wellbeing of one of their brightest up-and-coming prospects in years.

Balogun follows a growing trend of Arsenal sending players on loan to Ligue 1 clubs. William Saliba has enjoyed successful moves to Saint-Etienne, from where he was signed, Nice and Marseille, while Matteo Guendouzi was a team-mate of the defender at Stade Velodrome last season.

Balogun is set to have a big role to play in Reims this season, where he is liable to be handed a starting spot on a weekly basis. Oscar Garcia’s side are not renowned as an offensive powerhouse but with creative Kosovo international Arber Zeneli regaining his form after a long period out through injury, they should give the England Under-21 international ample opportunity to shine.

Though Balogun is a highly rated prospect at Arsenal, he has only featured in 10 games for the club and played only four times last season before being loaned to Championship side Middlesbrough for the second half of the campaign. With Boro, he scored three times in 18 outings and he will be targeting a better strike rate in France.

Most Read