By Alan Hutton

22nd Mar, 2023 | 2:54pm

Folarin Balogun backed to 'shine' for Arsenal next season after source's update - pundit

Alan Hutton has claimed Folarin Balogun is in a win-win situation ahead of his Arsenal return.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Tottenham and Aston Villa defender said Balogun will be given the chance to prove himself to Mikel Arteta in pre-season.

The 21-year-old is currently on loan at Ligue 1 side Reims and is set to return to the Emirates in the summer.

Balogun has been excelling in the French top flight and has scored 17 goals in 27 appearances so far this season.

Only Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe and Lille’s Johnathan David have scored more league goals than the Arsenal youngster this season.

On 17 March, sources told this site that AC Milan are tracking the striker as a potential target for the summer amid uncertainty surrounding his future at the Emirates.

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Balogun, whose current contract runs until 2025, wants to play regular football next season and Arteta is yet to decide if the American-born talent is part of his plans.

When asked if Balogun will be part of the first team if he stays in London next season, Hutton told Football Insider:Ultimately that is what you do if you are a younger player who is sent out on loan to get that experience to get that know-how to come back and be better and get into the first team.

Arsenal are in a very good place at this moment in time. Can he come back and add something? He will hope so and that is what the manager will hope as well.

I am sure he will be given that opportunity in pre-season to go and shine and it is up to him to take it. If he can do that I am sure Arteta will welcome him back with open arms.

If it does not work out then I am sure there will be other teams hovering round about.

In other news, a controversial new deal is imminent after Arsenal bank £40m.