Mikel Arteta must heed Arsenal advice or risk losing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang replacement

Arsenal: Folarin Balogun reacts to making his debut for the club

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta must heed the advice of England under-21 manager Lee Carsley regarding the future of Folarin Balogun. Arsenal ace Balogun scored his first goal for the under-21 side in Thursday’s 3-1 win over Czech Republic. However, he has struggled for game time at the Emirates this season.

Arsenal fought hard to keep Balogun earlier this year, as his previous contract was set to expire at the end of last season.

The New York-born striker was convinced to sign a new four-year deal with the north Londoners.

Balogun started the first Premier League game of the season because Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah were all unavailable.

However, he has made just two substitute appearances since in all competitions.

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Balogun continues to score heavily in the Arsenal under-23 side.

He is highly rated by those who keep a close eye on Arsenal’s youth matches.

Some believe he could be the potential successor to captain Aubameyang.

England under-21 boss Carsley is clearly a fan of Balogun.

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But he reckons he needs more senior game time and has advised a loan move.

“He’s got a lot of good attributes that strikers need and he’s got a really good attitude but like all players they need that opportunity to play,” said Carsley.

“I think Flo is at a level now where he’s almost outgrown under-23s, he needs to be tested at senior level. But I wouldn’t be in a rush to rush his development because he’s coming along nicely and I’m sure Arsenal know what they’re doing with him.

“You want the players to play for their first teams, our ideal scenario is that Flo plays for Arsenal.

“Ultimately he needs testing at a senior level, similar to the test that Eddie [Nketiah] had when he went out on loan and Anthony Gordon went out on loan to Preston.

“They need that test, they need to be in a different changing room and almost prove themselves again.

“Flo came and joined up with us, he looked sharp and I’m just glad he got his goal.”

Arsenal may have pinned Balogun down to a new contract.

But the youngster did come close to leaving and attracted plenty of interest from across Europe.

Arteta must carefully consider what is best for his future, with January looking like a good time to send him out on loan.

Balogun continuing in the under-23s is not good for anyone.

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