The expectation is that Folarin Balogun will compete for a place in the Arsenal first-team next season after being assessed in pre-season.

UEFA Europa League Group B, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 10/12/2020. Dundalk vs Arsenal Arsenal's Folarin Balogun celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal of the game. Copyright: INPHO / Ryan Byrne
UEFA Europa League Group B, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 10/12/2020. Dundalk vs Arsenal Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun celebrates scoring his side’s fourth goal of the game. Copyright: INPHO / Ryan Byrne

Chris Wheatley reports that Folarin Balogun will be assessed during Arsenal’s pre-season fixtures and he’ll compete for a place with the rest of the senior squad. After signing his new long-term deal, Balogun will hope to have an opportunity to prove himself.

The striker has taken pretty much every chance he’s been given under Mikel Arteta so far. From just 76 minutes on the pitch, he has two goals and one assist in senior football.

In another hint over his future, Balogun wasn’t named on the list of eight u23 players Arsenal are actively looking to loan out this summer.

That doesn’t mean he won’t end up going on loan, but it’s further confirmation he’ll get a chance in pre-season before they make a decision.

Arsenal already have fixtures against Hibs, Rangers, Inter Milan, and either Everton or Millonarios lined up for pre-season, but there are also rumours of the return of the Emirates Cup and a triangular London tournament involved Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

That’s a lot of fixtures overall, so you’d expect Balogun to get plenty of time on the pitch to make his case. After that, it will be up to Arteta to decide whether he’ll be able to give the striker minutes next season.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.