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‘Would be a statement of intent’ – Middlesbrough eye January transfer deal with Arsenal: The verdict

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This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun is top of Chris Wilder’s list of Middlesbrough transfer targets, according to The Sun

Wilder was at an England U21s game last week to watch Balogun but looks to face competition from his former club Sheffield United for the 20-year-old.

But would the Gunners forward be a good signing for Boro? And do they need him?

We quizzed our FLW writers for their thoughts…

Marcus Ally

Folarin Balogun would be an excellent January addition for Middlesbrough.

The young gun has struggled to break into Mikel Arteta’s first team considerations after demonstrating his class in Premier League 2 in recent seasons. If he is not going to get any opportunities in the Premier League then it would suit both parties for the 20-year-old to go out and gain some experience in the Championship.

Uche Ikpeazu and Andraz Sporar have been quite up and down so far this season and with Wilder looking to stamp his authority on the squad in January, Balogun would be a smart acquisition.

The 20-year-old is highly thought of in north London and therefore is very unlikely to be available on a permanent transfer anytime soon.

In combination with Josh Coburn, Boro could have a very youthful and exciting striking duo in the second half of the campaign. It would be a statement of intent for Boro to beat other second-tier rivals to his signature.

Adam Jones

If they are going to play two up top and that’s probably likely with Chris Wilder taking charge, Boro need to make their strike force the biggest threat in their team.

QPR have managed to do this in a similar way with Charlie Austin, Lyndon Dykes and Andre Gray all forward options at Mark Warburton’s disposal.

Uche Ikpeazu, Duncan Watmore and Andraz Sporar are good options to have, but the addition of another striker would help to ensure they can play with two up front all season and not have to change their system due to injuries, something that would be a major source of frustration for Wilder.

Folarin Balogun is a man who has no experience in the second-tier and a limited amount of first-team football under his belt, but what he lacks in experience he will make up for in enthusiasm and hunger, making him a real danger to Championship defences after establishing himself as one of the more promising youngsters at Arsenal.

This loan isn’t likely to cost much either, so it’s a low-risk and potentially high-reward signing that could pay dividends.

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Billy Mulley

I can see why there is Championship interest in Falorin Balogun, and I understand that Chris Wilder is new to the role, but I am not entirely sure they need another forward.

Andraz Sporar has looked like an excellent addition at the Riverside, whilst Josh Coburn is a real exciting talent who will only continue his development with more game time.

Duncan Watmore provides the front-line with a real burst of pace and energy, whilst Uche Ikpeazu’s sheer presence has caused lots of problems already this season.

I think there are certainly other Championship clubs who would be better suited and have more of a need to recruit a player like Balogun.

In fact, Middlesbrough, in my eyes, already have a very strong squad. Of course, a couple of additions will need to be made as Wilder takes charge, but ultimately, they possess a capable and strong squad for Championship level football.


London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: ‘Would be a statement of intent’ – Middlesbrough eye January transfer deal with Arsenal: The verdict

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