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Arsenal can recall Folarin Balogun to replace Gabriel Jesus

Arsenal have suffered a major injury blow, with Gabriel Jesus potentially being ruled out for three months according to Sport TV (via the Daily Mail) after injuring his knee during Brazil’s World Cup match against Cameroon last week.

This will be a big setback to Mikel Arteta and his team, as not only has he lost one of his main goalscoring threats for a lengthy period, but his lack of depth in that area remains quite poor.

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The Spaniard could call upon Eddie Nketiah, who has scored three times this season from 19 matches, however, this return is hardly prolific and it is a lot of pressure to place on the shoulders of a 21-year-old, especially when the north London side are chasing glory on both domestic and European fronts during the second half of the season.

There may just be another option available to Arteta however, and that could be recalling striker Folarin Balogun from his season-long loan spell at Ligue 1 side Stade Reims as the club do have an option for a January recall inserted into his loan contract.

Balogun was a goalscoring machine during his time with Arsenal U18s and Under 21s, scoring 38 and 37 goals respectively for both teams and he made his senior bow in 2020, scoring just twice before joining Championship side Middlesbrough on loan during the 2021/2022 season.

His spell in the North East wasn’t exactly scintillating, scoring only three goals, yet a change of scenery this season has led to the youngster finally showcasing his massive potential.

In just 15 Ligue 1 matches, he has found the net on eight occasions while adding one assist and his goal returns may have been better had he not missed five big chances.

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By making 0.7 key passes per match and creating a further four big chances, his game doesn’t just revolve around goalscoring and this could also be an advantage for Arteta.

It’s evident he has the talent to score regularly at the highest level and Balogun would undoubtedly have better players around him at the Emirates to set him up for more opportunities.

The starlet has been dubbed a “goalscoring sensation” by the Athletic’s James McNicholas and although Arteta will be keen to delve into the transfer market for a Jesus replacement, he may just have the ideal option a quick phone call away and costing absolutely nothing.