Sheffield United: Former Blades target urged to leave Arsenal

Former Sheffield United target Folarin Balogun has been urged to leave Arsenal on loan during the January transfer window.

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 3:35 pm

Balogun, aged 20, was among a number of potential signings considered by United as they looked to strengthen their attack before being relegated from the Premier League.

But a number of factors meant a move failed to materialise, with officials at Bramall Lane eventually plumping for his England under-21 team mate Rhian Brewster instead.

While Brewster has endured a difficult 12 months in South Yorkshire - sent-off during the Young Lions’ Euro 2023 qualifier against Andorra earlier this week, he enters Saturday’s Championship fixture with Stoke still searching for his first league goal in United colours - Balogun’s career has also failed to progress over the past year.

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Having played less than four hours of football last season - two thirds of which came for Arsenal’s under-21 side during their Football League Trophy campaign - he has made only three appearances for Mikel Arteta’s side this term. That has prompted Kevin Campbell, who spent seven years with the north Londoners after also graduating from their youth programme, to tell Balogun he should look to join an EFL club on a temporary basis before re-assessing his options.

Swansea City, who played out a goalless draw with United at the Stadium at the beginning of the season, have been touted as a potential destination.

Arsenal, who paid United around £26m to sign their goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale soon after Slavisa Jokanovic took charge in July, are reportedly considering revamping their own frontline with Ollie Watkins, who also interested the Serb’s predecessor Chris Wilder before swapping Brentford for Aston Villa, being mooted as a possible acquisition. Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Ramsdale’s former team mate at United, is also thought to feature on Artate’s radar.

Brewster was about to be replaced by Balogun before he was controversially sent-off during Tuesday’s match in Andorra, with the hosts’ captain Eric Vales appearing to feign an elbow as they battled for possession.

Arsenal forward Folarin Balogun: Tim Goode/PA Wire.

Jokanovic is set to speak with Brewster when he reports back for duty with United to ensure his already brittle confidence is not further damaged by the incident.

Rhian Brewster in action for Sheffield United: Darren Staples / Sportimage