Arsenal to bring 'physical' striker to the Emirates Stadium next season: report

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta applauds their fans after the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Arsenal FC at Craven Cottage on March 12, 2023 in London, England
(Image credit: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Arsenal are looking at a more physical forward to compete with their current options up front.

That's according to one report that states that the future of Folarin Balogun, out on loan at Reims in Ligue 1, could be pivotal to how the summer shapes up for the Gunners. No player aged 21 or under has scored more goals in Europe’s top five leagues this season than the New York-born hitman, who has been a palpable hit in France. 

Quick and instinctive, Balogun is more physical than the likes of Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Martinelli – and perhaps even more so than first- and second-choice no.9s Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah in time – but should the 21-year-old depart, Arsenal could look to replace him with someone even more imposing at the tip of attack. 

Folarin Balogun

Folarin Balogun is just 21 – but very highly-rated following his stint in France (Image credit: PA)

The Evening Standard have claimed that Arsenal have "recently" scouted the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Dusan Vlahovic, Tammy Abraham and Victor Osimhen – while 6ft 3in 20-year-old Dane Rasmus Hojlund is an option, too.

"Signing a tall, powerful striker would add a different dimension to Arsenal’s attack," the report says. "Gabriel Jesus led the line well until he suffered a knee injury in December, while Eddie Nketiah has shown he is a dangerous penalty-box poacher. Leandro Trossard has emerged as a viable false nine.

"The conundrum is where would Balogun fit into this, but he has given Arsenal a headache with his performances this season."

Arsenal are set to kick off talks with Balogun this summer. The striker is 5ft 10in – and not considered as physical as some of the options on the list – but only Nketiah is taller from the table-toppers' current forwards.

Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal celebrate together at full-time of the Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa on 31 August, 2022 at the Emirates Stadium in London, United Kingdom.

Neither Gabriel Jesus nor Gabriel Martinelli is considered a particularly "physical" forward (Image credit: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Should Balogun choose to leave Arsenal there will be no shortage of interest in his signature. The Gunners will likely sell if they don't choose to keep him around, too, given that he has just two years left on his current contract. 

The striker is valued at €25 million by Transfermarkt.

More Arsenal stories

Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, sparking rumours that the Gunners could have to fight to keep their No.9. Manager Mikel Arteta has identified nine players who could leave this summer – while Rasmus Hojlund is a target up front, along with Leeds star Wilfried Gnonto.

Elsewhere, Gabri Veiga has been rumoured to be on Arsenal's radar, as has AC Milan star Brahim Diaz. Declan Rice is thought to be this summer's big target, with Oleksandr Zinchenko sharing a word with him when Ukraine played England, setting tongues wagging. 

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Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.