All Nigeria Soccer have claimed today that Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is considering a Timo Werner-like role for young Folarin Balogun next season.
The teenager’s future was up in the air for quite a while last season, but Edu and Arteta managed to convince him to stay. He has now been promoted to the first team and Arsenal fans are hoping to see him get some game time next term.
Balogun, labelled as a striker with ‘unique qualities‘ by Arteta, has mostly played up front for Arsenal’s youth teams. He is viewed by many as our future number nine, but if a latest report is to be believed, Arteta has some interesting plans for him next season.
Folarin Balogun to play a Timo Werner-like role at Arsenal next season
Before his big-money move to Chelsea, Timo Werner was regarded as one of the most dangerous strikers in Europe. He scored 95 goals and provided 40 assists in 159 games for RB Leipzig, which is an outrageous return.
Werner had a shocking debut campaign in the Premier League last season. His finishing was woeful for the Blues, but his runs were brilliant and he got himself into the right positions.
Arteta reportedly wants Balogun to develop those positional traits next season.
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Gabriel Martinelli available, Balogun’s chances of regular game time up top will be minimal. As a result, the Arsenal boss is willing to give the teenager a chance on the left flank.
Balogun will be expected make inward runs towards the goal if he starts on the left. The Hale End wonderkid cutting inside will allow him to have a clear sight of goal, as well as open up space for Kieran Tierney’s overlapping runs.
The report has pointed out that Werner used to do the same at Leipzig, but it’s not just him. Aubameyang does the exact same thing at Arsenal, as does Martinelli. Every right-footed left-winger under Arteta is instructed to cut inside, and it is no surprise whatsoever to hear that Balogun will be asked to do the same if he’s told to play on the left flank next season.