By Abiodun Adewale.
Stade de Reims president Jean-Pierre Caillot has admitted that it’s almost impossible for Arsenal-owned striker Folarin Balogun to continue with The Red and Whites next season.
Balogun joined Stade de Reims last summer on a season-long loan without an option to buy included in the agreement between both clubs.
Despite failing to get on the scoresheet in his most recent game in the French Ligue 1, the England U-21 international of Nigerian descent is still ahead of Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette and PSG superstar Kylian Mbappde, who are both on thirteen goals, in the race for the top scorer award.
Balogun has been instrumental to Reims’ unbeaten run that stretched to 16 games in all competitions after a goalless draw with AJ Auxerre last weekend, scoring 10 goals in the undefeated run.
Caillot expects Balogun to go back to Arsenal next season and fight for a first team spot and the other options could see him loaned out again or sold for big money after putting himself in the shop window.
Asked by France Bleu if it was possible to keep Balogun on loan for another season, Caillot stated, “I think it’s impossible. The rules of the game are very clear: these are boys who, when they join us, know that they are there to reveal themselves and this is a stage for them.
“So, even if I don’t decide for him, either Folarin will return to his club Arsenal to have his chance, or he will be loaned out again or even transferred to a very high-level club.
“He is a player who must go even higher. So obviously, we will ask the question to him, who feels good here, and to his club but I think that today he will have to take a step.
“So, we are already working on the future of Balogun, the day he will be taken to leave the club. But if he and his club agree to do another year at Stade de Reims, we will do everything to make it happen.”
Balogun has been on the books of Arsenal since the age of eight, and his contract with the north London club expires June 30, 2025.