What Arsenal boss Arteta told Balogun before loaning him out to Reims
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What Arsenal boss Arteta told Balogun before loaning him out to Reims

Arsenal youngster Folarin Balogun has revealed what Mikel Arteta told him before he was allowed to join Ligue 1 side Stade Reims on loan.

The 21-year-old has been one of our brightest prospects. He has the potential to become a top striker in the coming years, and he’s showing his quality in France now.

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What Arsenal boss Arteta told Balogun before loaning him out to Reims

Balogun has been a star in France since joining Reims on loan.

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The youngster has scored five goals and provided two assists in seven appearances and boasts a better minutes-per-goal ratio this season than Lionel Messi.

Balogun opened up on what life has been like away in France recently, and he also revealed what Arteta told him before letting him leave on loan for a year.

He told The Independent: “I think it’s very important to just throw yourself in at the deep end, as I’m trying to do, and hopefully I don’t drown.

“Before I moved, Mikel (Arteta) just wanted me to develop as a man. It was kind of like an open answer and it was for me to interpret what he meant by ‘develop as a man’.

“By moving abroad, I’m starting to learn what he meant by that. It doesn’t just mean on the pitch but also off the pitch. I think by the time I go back I’ll be in a better place to compete than I was before I left.”

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The Insider’s View:

The Ligue 1 seems like a great place for Arsenal youngsters to go and get some experience under their belt.

William Saliba spent 18 months there at Nice and Marseille, and we can see how well he has developed. Nuno Tavares is at the Stade Velodrome now, and he’s doing really well too, which is excellent for us.

Balogun will definitely learn a lot during his time in France. It’s not just about scoring goals and picking up assists, which he’s doing now, but it’s the difficult times that will help him ‘develop as a man’.

The youngster is currently on international duty with the England U21s, and he’s set to play a part against Italy tomorrow.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images