"You need to go" - Former Arsenal captain Alexandre Lacazette urged player to leave the Emirates this summer

Former Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette.
Former Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette.

On-loan Arsenal forward Folarin Balogun has revealed that former Gunners captain Alexandre Lacazette urged him to move to Ligue 1 this summer.

Balogun played seven times for Mikel Arteta's side last season before being shipped off on loan to Middlesbrough for the second half of the campaign. The forward scored just three times in 18 EFL Championship matches before returning to the Emirates ahead of the 2022-23 season.

To further his development, the Gunners sent him on a season-long loan deal to Stade Reims in France. Balogun has taken Ligue 1 by storm so far, netting five times and assisting twice in six league matches.

The forward has now revealed that Lacazette, who left Arsenal upon the expiry of his contract this summer, had urged him to move to the French league. The Frenchman himself is in Ligue 1 at the moment after re-joining Olympique Lyonnais on a free transfer.

Balogun spoke about Lacazette during an interview with Amazon Prime Video Sport (as quoted by the Mirror):

"He's a great player. When he was at Arsenal he would always help me progress and improve, teaching me techniques and giving me advice."

The England youth international went on to add:

"I remember speaking to Lacazette and he kept on telling me: 'you need to go to Ligue 1, you will do well here.' Maybe he should become my agent as well because he has a great knowledge of football!"
Folarin Balogun has shed light on the conversations he had with Alexandre Lacazette before moving to…

Despite Balogun's incredible returns in front of goal, Reims have struggled so far this season. They are currently 14th in the Ligue 1 table with just one win and six points from six matches.

Arsenal have displayed a new-found vigor in attack this season

Arsenal have let go of forwards Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Lacazette over the last nine months, with their low goalscoring returns a cause for concern last season. However, the Gunners' attack has fired on all cylinders so far this season.

Gabriel Jesus has already proved to be a shrewd addition and has allowed Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka to thrive on either side of him in the Gunners' frontline. Arteta's troops have already scored 14 times in six Premier League matches this term and are currently top of the standings.

Things are looking close at the πŸ” of the #PL table πŸ‘€

At the same stage last season, they had found the back of the net just four times, indicating a marked improvement. The north London giants will look to keep their place at the top of the Premier League table when they host Everton on September 11.

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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