Kevin Campbell has predicted that Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal will ‘lose’ Folarin Balogun this summer, even though the Premier League giants would ‘love to keep him’.

It has been a whirlwind 12 months for Folarin Balogun, who has gone from struggling to break into Arsenal’s first-team, to scoring 21 goals in France’s top-tier and then becoming a fully-fledged USA international.

Given the Hale-End academy star’s rise, Campbell thinks the 21-year-old will now want to leave the Emirates this summer simply because he ‘doesn’t want to be a squad player’ anymore, as he told The Highbury Squad.

That season with Stade Reims, which included Balogun scoring a late equaliser away at PSG, has enhanced the player’s reputation across Europe.

Amid their struggles off the field, Serie A giants Juventus have expressed interest in Balogun, that’s if their star man Dusan Vlahovic leaves.

That would be an incredible move for the youngster to play in a league with a higher reputation than France and for a team that’s one of the biggest in Italy and the world, with Campbell sharing his thoughts.

“Is he a good player, yes he is,” said Campbell. “We know that. But the key is that he has to come back into our building and we need to have a look at him.

“Balogun said that he’s not going out on loan (again), which I get. I totally understand. The key is, will he be happy being a squad player? Of course, he won’t. It’s not a matter of whether we want him to go, it’s a matter of he wants to play. That’s the difference.

“He tasted that sugar now. He wants to be the main man. Will he be the main man at Arsenal? I don’t think he has got the game that Jesus has. But could he do a job? Of course, he could. I think he has got all the tools and the talent to do it.

“But he needs time. That’s what he needs. And maybe, he won’t give himself the time at Arsenal, solely because he wants to play now. That’s the only reason why I think we lose him because he wants to start – I think Arsenal would love to keep Balogun. But if he doesn’t want to be a squad player, then they have to sell.”

Balogun is right to move on

He’s thinking about his long-term future and taking his game to the next level, rather than sitting on Arsenal’s bench where, let’s be honest, he isn’t going to earn many minutes or starts.

Gabriel Jesus is ahead of him, Kai Havertz is close to signing and Eddie Nketiah is also seemingly ahead of him, so this is the right call from the USMNT international.

But that doesn’t mean he picks any old club, he has to make sure that his next destination, just like in France, will provide him with a fair crack of the whip.

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