Arsenal have something of an injury crisis – once again, star striker Gabriel Jesus has been ruled out of action with injury and he will miss the first few weeks of the 2023/24 Premier League season [via the Daily Mail].
Despite this, it’s not all doom and gloom. While Jesus is set for a lengthy absence, another player must take his place in the starting lineup when Arsenal play Nottingham Forest on August 12.
Enter Folarin Balgon. Despite enjoying a brilliant season on loan at Reims last season, scoring 21 goals in 37 Ligue 1 games, it has looked likely that he will be leaving the Emirates Stadium – until now.
But, with Mikel Arteta now facing a selection headache ahead of the new season, Balogun could be given a new lease of life in North London – if this proves to be the case, he would be a great addition to your Premier League fantasy football squad.
Will Folarin Balogun be given a chance at Arsenal?
With Jesus set to face a spell on the sidelines, Arteta would be foolish to not at least consider placing Balogun in the first team. His goal scoring prowess is now very evident, as shown by his time at Reims.
Moreover, if you choose to add him to your squad, he’ll come very cheap. This season, he is valued at £4.5 – for a striker, this is an absolute pittance.
However, there is another hurdle that Balogun must face. He isn’t the only other backup striker that the Gunners have within their ranks – there is aso Eddie Nketiah, who must be taken into consideration.
Will Balogun be a better option in the striker position than Eddie Nketiah?
Currently, it is difficult to say. Yes, Balogun was impressive on loan at Reims, but football the Premier League is played at a much faster pace – it’s also far more physical.
Nketiah is not a high-scoring forward, though. Last season, he scored just four goals in 30 games – this pales in comparison to Balogun’s tally.
With that being said, for what Nketiah lacks in terms of a natural finishing edge, he makes up for it with excellent work rate and link play.