Arsenal confirm Folarin Balogun WILL be sent out on loan in January transfer window to get more first-team action

ARSENAL will allow Folarin Balogun to go out on loan in January to get more first team experience.

The 20-year-old striker has appeared just three times this campaign, with Mikel Arteta preferring experienced strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and, more recently, Eddie Nketiah instead.

And academy chief Per Mertesacker has revealed the New York-born attacker is the most likely to leave the club when the transfer window opens next month.

As reported by Metro, Mertesacker said at the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust Christmas event: "I think the closest, at the moment, to make that step [to the first team] is Flo Balogun.

"He’s transferred in to the first-team dressing room.

"He still plays Under-23s football and probably most likely will go on loan in January because you need extra exposure to get to that next level so he needs to make that transition."

Balogun is well-regarded by Arsenal's coaches and burst onto the scene last season in the Europa League, scoring two goals in five games.

However, he has been limited to just one start and two substitute appearances this campaign in the first team.

Back in April, Balogun penned a four-year deal with the Gunners after speculation about his future.

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But he's been restricted to youth football, starring for Arsenal's U23 team with 13 goals in 11 Premier League 2 games.

Recent reports suggested technical director Edu is willing to listen to offers for Balogun and fellow youngster Nketiah.

While Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder is a known admirer of Balogun, and would be interested if he becomes available.

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