Arsenal starlet Folarin Balogun MUST go out on loan to ‘test himself’ as playing for their Under 23s is ‘too easy for him’, insists England U21 boss Lee Carsley
- Lee Carsley has encouraged Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun to secure a loan deal
- Carsley believes playing for the U23 is ‘too easy’ for the 20-year-old starlet
- The England U21 boss says Balogun would benefit from being ‘tested’ more
- Carsley says Balogun ‘wants to work hard and ‘asks really good questions’
England U21 boss Lee Carsley has encouraged Folarin Balogun to secure a loan deal in the January transfer market as he believes playing for the Arsenal U23 side is ‘too easy’.
Balogun joined the Arsenal academy at eight years old but has struggled to cement a place in the first team. He has represented Mikel Arteta’s side just three times in all competitions this season.
Therefore, Carsley believes the 20-year-old would benefit from being ‘tested’ with more ‘senior football’ as he can see the forward ‘wants to work hard’.
England U21 boss Lee Carsley has encouraged Folarin Balogun (above) to secure a loan deal
Balogun was handed his Premier League debut in Arsenal’s first game of the season against Brentford.
However, he made little impact in the 2-0 defeat and has since played just 18 minutes of football under manager Arteta.
Speaking ahead of England’s Euro 2023 qualifier against the Czech Republic, Carsley reflected on Balogun’s situation at Arsenal.
The England U21 boss said: ‘He’s probably missed out on that little bit of senior football. You need testing.
Carsley (above) believes playing for the U23 is ‘too easy’ for the 20-year-old Arsenal starlet
Balogun has represented the Gunners just three times in all competitions this season
‘Watching him in the U23’s for Arsenal, it’s probably a little bit too easy for him and he’s passed that level.
‘I imagine he wants to play for Arsenal and pushing for a position but it’s such a big club with a lot of competition.
‘They’ll have a career path for him and a way to break through because he’s got all the attributes. He’s level-headed, wants to work hard, asks really good questions. He wants information. He’s picking Ashley [Cole] and Joleon [Lescott]’s brains on defenders.
‘I think it would be fair to say that a lot of the clubs in Europe would be aware of Flo’s qualities and if anything he has just got to keep proving it to himself.
‘He is the only person he’s got to impress and look himself in the mirror. He’s got outstanding ability, attributes and work rate and he is a player that people look forward to seeing.’
Carsley also revealed that Balogun would be starting for the England U21’s in their World Cup qualifier on Thursday.
Carsley believes the 20-year-old would benefit from being ‘tested’ with more ‘senior football’ as he says the forward ‘wants to work hard’ and asks ‘really good questions’
Carsley revealed Balogun would be starting for the England U21’s in their World Cup qualifier
He said: ‘I had a conversation with Flo a week ago to tell him that he was going to start, he was going to be our No9 and that to make sure that he was fully focused when he came in.
‘I wanted him to have that chance that to mentally prepare that he was going to be our No9 and our one that we’re looking at to score goals.
‘I’ve seen that this week in training, I can see the focus he’s had and he’s relished that chance. It’s down to him now, Rhian [Brewster] getting sent off.
‘I like Rhian and we’ll keep giving him opportunities but we want competition for places and we want the lads to push each other and Flo is definitely capable of doing that.’
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