Arsenal player claims Lacazette ‘kept on telling’ him to leave the Emirates for Ligue 1

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Former Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette watches play Credit: PA Images
Former Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette watches play Credit: PA Images

Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun was told on numerous occasions by Alexandre Lacazette to get a move to Ligue 1 before he left.

Balogun spent some of last season on loan at Middlesbrough with the England under-21 international contributing three goals and three assists in 18 appearances under Chris Wilder.

But his loan move to Ligue 1 side Reims is going better this term with five goals and one assist in just six appearances in the French top flight.

One per club: Premier League players stuck after missing out on a move

And Lacazette, who left the Gunners on a free transfer this summer to join Lyon, had been telling Balogun for ages that he should give Ligue 1 a try.

Speaking about Lacazette in an interview with Amazon Prime Video Sport, Balogun said: “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.

“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!

“I’ve spent my whole career in London so when I came here I knew it was going to be different, I didn’t know the language and I’m still trying to learn – but for me, it’s important to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself.

“This is the reason I’m here and hopefully this decision will be good for me and pay off.”

There is no doubt Lacazette was spot on with his advice for Balogun and another player hoping that a move away from Arsenal does them good is Spanish right-back Hector Bellerin.

Bellerin joined Barcelona in a permanent deal at the end of the transfer window after 11 years with the Gunners, in which he won three FA Cup trophies.

And former Arsenal striker Ian Wright is “sad” to see Bellerin leave the Emirates Stadium but believes he is a Gunners “great” thanks to the service has given to the club.

Wright said: “If I’m going to be totally honest, I was desperate for him to go to Betis. But obviously, they can’t afford him. I just hope he could go there (Barcelona) and just have a nice realisation, play well and do great.

“He’s one of the great ones I think, for us (Arsenal), in respect of a club servant and the way he was. The injuries took their toll on him, that knee, that was a horrible one.

“I really, really am so sad to see him go. You just want him to be happy, I want him to have happiness, he deserves it.”

 

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