Arsenal youngster Folarin Balogun has completed a loan move to Championship side Middlesbrough.
Balogun started the Premier League curtain-raiser against Brentford back in August but then struggled for game time with the first-team, playing just 74 minutes across all competitions since the 2-0 defeat in west London.
However, the 20-year-old has been excellent for the Gunners’ under-23 side, providing a whopping 15 goals and three assists in just 13 outings for Kevin Betsy’s side this term.
Despite giving fellow Hale End academy graduate Eddie Nketiah more opportunities than Balogun, first-team head coach Mikel Arteta has made it no secret of his admiration for the talented forward.
Speaking in October, Arteta said: “Again, with Flo (Balogun) we have a really clear project. The steps that he’s making, they are the right steps.
“Don’t forget he is really young, he hasn’t played almost any professional football, and you need to go through every phase – and don’t try to jump phases when you are not ready to do so.
“Again I’m really happy with him, he’s making the right progress and in December we will see where we are and what’s the best for him as well.”
football.london understands that the player’s agent, who also represents Bukayo Saka, had commanded a loan fee to broker the deal which had put a number of potential suitors off before Middlesbrough eventually lead the race for his signature.
As per, football.london‘s chief Arsenal reporter Chris Wheatley, the Teesside-based club will cover 15% of the player’s salary after reaching an agreement with the Gunners.
Boro boss Chris Wilder has also told the player he will be used as a central striker which influenced his final decision.
Middlesbrough will hope that Balogun can help fire them to a top-six finish, with Wilder’s side currently sitting seventh in the Championship league table, seven points behind the automatic promotion spots.