Folarin Balogun ready for 'new challenge' ahead of January transfer window
Folarin Balogun has been stuck playing reserve level football / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages
Arsenal youngster Folarin Balogun has confessed he is keen to get out of youth football when the January transfer window opens.
The 20-year-old enjoyed a few cameos under Mikel Arteta last season, resulting in him signing a new four-year contract in April, but the minutes have dried up and he hasn't made a Premier League squad since late August.
In the meantime, Balogun has been tearing up reserve football, banging home ten goals in eight games in the Premier League 2, and he has admitted he is keen to test himself at a higher level in the near future.
"I have played youth football for a little while, I have obviously scored a lot of goals at that level and improved at that level drastically from when I started," Balogun said (via football.london).
"I do feel like I am ready for a new challenge but I am not sure what that might be, it might be a loan or if I am needed at Arsenal then I am here and the gaffer knows that.
"I am definitely open to a new challenge but it is something that whatever that challenge is I will be ready.
"I know the potential I could have and that I need to achieve is massive. I haven't achieved it yet. What I see now I would just describe as glimpses, things that need to be worked on and can be improved.
"The performances I am putting in are all I can do at the moment. I know that I am going in the right direction."
Whether minutes at Arsenal are coming is yet to be seen. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be away with Gabon for the African Cup of Nations in January, while fellow youngster Eddie Nketiah could be sold as he approaches the final six months of his contract.
That would leave Alexandre Lacazette as the Gunners' only senior striker for a few weeks, but his future is in doubt as well as, like Nketiah, his contract is close to expiring.