Folarin Balogun joins French club Stade de Reims on loan from Arsenal

Folarin Balogun joins French club Stade de Reims on loan from Arsenal

Folarin Balogun has joined Ligue 1 side Stade de Reims on a season-long loan in a bid to gain some regular game time.

The forward, 21, signed a new long-term contract with Arsenal last year and the club retain high hopes for his future.

With the club confirming the deal on Wednesday afternoon, Balogun arrives at Reims hoping to fill the centre forward spot abdicated by striker Hugo Ekitike who left to join Paris Saint Germain on a season-long loan. The deal is not believed to have an option to buy clause.

In their statement announcing Balogun’s departure, Arsenal wished the player all the best for the upcoming campaign.

‘Everyone at Arsenal wishes Flo all the best this coming season with Stade de Reims,’ they wrote.

Balogun spent the second half of last season on loan at Middlesbrough in the Championship having found first team opportunities difficult to come by at Arsenal in the first half of the season.

Balogun started Arsenal’s opening day fixture against Brentford last season, playing in a 2-0 loss at the Brentford Community Stadium but thereafter only made one more Premier League appearance before being sent out on loan.

His loan spell at Middlesbrough garnered a slight uptick in fortune, with the forward scoring three goals and laying on a further three for his teammates in 21 appearances for the Teeside club.

Balogun’s arrival in France will be welcomed by the supporters of Reims who hope he can fire them up the table after the club finished 12th last season.

The club most recently qualified for the Europa League playoff rounds for the 2020-21 season but struggled, over the past two seasons, to match their lofty position of sixth in the 2019-20 season.

Balogun has represented every England age group side down to the under 17s, as well as making four appearances for the United States’ under 18s side having been born in the country.

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