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Rio Ferdinand claims Folarin Balogun may have to follow Charlie Patino to Arsenal exit door

Ryan Smart

| Last updated 

Rio Ferdinand claims Folarin Balogun may have to follow Charlie Patino to Arsenal exit door

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has claimed that Folarin Balogun may have to follow Charlie Patino's lead to the Arsenal exit door this summer.

Both Balogun and Patino, who have emerged through the Gunners academy, have spent this term away from north London on loan spells.

Balogun has been hugely impressive during his stint at Ligue 1 side Reims, scoring 18 goals in 32 appearances in France's top division.

Patino's loan spell has been more challenging. After an encouraging start to life at Championship side Blackpool under Michael Appleton, the 19-year-old midfielder struggled to hit top form and then lost his place in the team under Mick McCarthy.


He has started three of the last five games under the interim management of Stephen Dobbie, but the Tangerines were relegated to League One last Friday courtesy of a 3-2 home defeat to play-off chasing Millwall.


A technically skilled player, Patino's has developed his physicality, with this his first season of regular senior football.

The Athletic reported earlier this week that Patino would rather move away from the Emirates Stadium on a permanent basis rather than agree to another loan, and he is said to be set to leave the club this summer.


Now, Ferdinand has advised Balogun to consider the same path, given the likely difficulty he will have in overhauling Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah to become Arsenal's first choice striker.

Ferdinand gives Balogun advice

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Vibe with FIVE, Ferdinand explained: "I think sometimes, especially when you go out on loan, you get that taste of playing men's football in front of fans and in stadiums, and to think you're going to go back and play U23s football, sometimes it's like, 'I can't go back to that'. You've got to be brave.

"Balogun has a big decision to make too. Does he go back and potentially sit on the bench and wait for his chance at Arsenal, or does he go, 'I want to play now, I've proved my worth'?


"Both of these boys [Balogun and Patino] have got big decisions. I think Charlie Patino has made up his mind and wanted to go elsewhere.

"It is important for Arsenal with what they do. I think they will go for a bit more experience in that midfield area."

Mikel Arteta has a major dilemma this summer, with Arsenal having brought through several first team players via their academy in recent seasons.

Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson have established themselves in the Gunners' first team squad, with Saka the only one of those four names to have not experienced a loan spell before embedding himself as an Arsenal regular.


Arteta needs to decide whether to give Patino and Balogun an opportunity to add their names to the club's list of successful academy graduates - or whether they need to move on.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy / Action Plus Sports/Alamy Live News / Matthieu Mirville/DPPI

Topics: Arsenal, Premier League, Mikel Arteta, Rio Ferdinand

Ryan Smart
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