Arsenal warned Folarin Balogun has ‘almost outgrown Under-23s and needs to be tested at senior level’

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Balogun scored for England Under-21s against Czech Republic on Thursday night  (The FA via Getty Images)
Balogun scored for England Under-21s against Czech Republic on Thursday night (The FA via Getty Images)

England Under-21s manager Lee Carsley has told Arsenal that striker Folarin Balogun needs to be tested at senior level after bagging his first goal for the Young Lions on Thursday night.

Balogun scored and impressed throughout as England beat Czech Republic 3-1 at Turf Moor.

Arsenal fought hard to convince the 20-year-old to sign a new contract over the summer but the striker has been restricted to just one first team start this season, on the opening day against Brentford when the Gunners squad was hit hard hit by injuries.

Balogun has been a cut above at youth level, scoring 11 goals in 10 games for the Arsenal development side, a level Carsley feels he has outgrown.

A number of the England Under-21 squad have benefited from time on loan, though Carsley would rather see Balogun break through in north London.

"He’s got a lot of good attributes that strikers need and he’s got a really good attitude but like all players they need that opportunity to play," said Carsley.

"I think Flo is at a level now where he’s almost outgrown Under-23s, he needs to be tested at senior level. But I wouldn’t be in a rush to rush his development because he’s coming along nicely and I’m sure Arsenal know what they’re doing with him.

"You want the players to play for their first teams, our ideal scenario is that Flo plays for Arsenal.

"Ultimately he needs testing at a senior level, similar to the test that Eddie [Nketiah] had when he went out on loan and Anthony Gordon went out on loan to Preston.

"They need that test, they need to be in a different changing room and almost prove themselves again.

"Flo came and joined up with us, he looked sharp and I’m just glad he got his goals."

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