This season, Folarin Balogun has demonstrated a clinical nature, as one important statistic places him alongside Erling Haaland and the best attackers in Europe.
As of the conclusion of the summer transfer window, the only forward alternatives for Arsenal were Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah. Due to the club’s participation in four tournaments, including the Premier League, Europa League, Carabao Cup, and FA Cup, both forwards will be subjected to a significant amount of pressure.
Nevertheless, Edu’s decision not to sign a third option could turn out to be a blessing in disguise. This is due to Folarin Balogun’s current success in Ligue 1.
During the early weeks of the French Ligue 1 season, the Englishman has distinguished himself. His domination has been underscored by his clinical demeanor since he made the move.
Balogun has scored five league goals thus far. This places him in a tie for third place on the Ligue 1 all-time goalscoring chart, having scored two more goals than Lionel Messi and with only Neymar and Kylian Mbappe having scored more.
Not only is he well regarded in France, but he also ranks highly in comparison to many other strikers in Europe. This season, the loanee is fourth among the top five leagues in Europe for goals per touch.
Erling Haaland of Manchester City dominates the standings, while former Arsenal target Dusan Vlahovic sits in second and Terem Moffi is the only other player ahead of Leon Balogun.
In addition to his scoring prowess, Balogun has also added to the team’s creativity by providing assists. With seven goal contributions, the Englishman now ranks ninth among all strikers in the top five European leagues in terms of goal involvements. Balogun is presently ahead of Premier League stars like Alexander Mitrovic, who has been on fire in the first weeks of the season.
Last season, Balogun began his first Premier League game for Arsenal against Brentford, signaling that he had finally cracked into the Arsenal squad. He was later loaned to Middlesbrough after he was unable to make another start and was subsequently released.
However, William Saliba’s experience demonstrates that a good stint in Ligue 1 can alter one’s chances of breaking through at Arsenal, since the Frenchman went through a similar circumstance.
Saliba was loaned out towards the close of the 2021 summer transfer window. The Frenchman was traded to Marseille after Arsenal bought Ben White from Brighton for a £50 million transfer price, which may have signaled the end of Saliba’s brief tenure in north London due to their comparable playing styles.
However, Saliba was outstanding during his loan move, which earned him his first call-up to the national team, and he was named the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Season following a fantastic 2021/22 season in France. The 21-year-old has played almost every minute of the league season for Marseille, with 13 shutouts in 36 outings. He assisted the team in finishing second in Ligue 1.
Balogun can draw inspiration from this and attempt to replicate it with Reims. His early goal dominance indicates that he is currently pursuing this track.