By Anthony Nlebem.
Despite his outstanding performances in the French Ligue 1 this season, former Liverpool star John Barnes has urged on-loan Arsenal and Reims striker Folarin Balogun not to return to Arsenal when his loan deal expires next month, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
Balogun has been in fine form for Reims since joining the club in the summer of 2022 and has established himself as one of the top strikers in France.
The former Middlesbrough striker has enjoyed a brilliant run this season scoring 19 goals in 34 league appearances for the Red and Whites.
He is currently the joint-fourth top scorer in Ligue 1 and has equalled the record for most goals by an Englishman in a single season in the Ligue 1 when he scored against Lens last Friday.
The 21-year-old whose loan deal in France ends at the end of the 2022/23 season still has two years left on his contract with Arsenal.
Barnes also noted that Balogun style of play is quite different from the way Arsenal plays and advised the former Gunners youth star to remain at Reims where he has been flourishing.
“Balogun is doing really well for Reims because the way they are playing suits him very well, the former England international told Betting Expert
“But just because he is doing well for Reims that doesn’t mean he all of a sudden will come back to England and perform in the same way.”
“Tammy Abraham is doing well at Roma and Smalling as well because they are playing a kind of football that suits them, which is what matters.”
“So, just because he is doing well overseas doesn’t mean that he will come back to Arsenal and play instead of Jesus or Nketiah.
“I think he should either stay there or move to a club that suits him very well and I don’t necessarily think that he is going back to Arsenal.”
But the youngster is not considering returning to Emirates Stadium next season unless he is guaranteed a starting role.