Middelsborough FC have finalised a loan move for Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun. The England Under-21 international has joined the club until the end of the season. Boro fought off competition from a number of clubs to secure the services of the highly-rated young marksman. Balogun, who has made two Premier League appearances this season, has clocked up 16 in total for the London club and scored twice in five Europa League appearances last time around. He has also netted 13 goals in 11 PL2 starts this term, along with two goals in the Papa John’s Trophy.
Boro boss Chris Wilder said: “We’re delighted to get Flo in. He’s a player I’ve known about for a long time and we identified him as someone who could come in and improve us in the second half of the season. “He has great movement, good pace, and he’s a natural finisher. We’re looking forward to working with him.” The 20-year-old follows Aaron Connolly and Caolan Boyd-Munce into the club as January arrivals. Boro are one point off the play-off positions in seventh place but off the back of a six-game unbeaten run are well placed for a promotion push. They also have a big game with Manchester United on the horizon having drawn the Red Devils in the FA Cup fourth round.
Balogun’s loan move comes as no surprise despite the question marks hanging over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Eddie Nketiah and Alex Lacazette. The American-born forward was prolific throughout his time with the youth set-up, most notably in 2018/19 when he fired our under-18s to the league title with 25 goals from just 19 appearances. He transferred this form to the first team last season, scoring twice in the Europa League from just five substitute appearances. Balogun has continued to make an impact this season, with an impressive 15 goals from his 14 appearances in the PL2 and EFL Trophy during the campaign so far.