Thierry Henry praises Folarin Balogun’s ‘refreshing mindset’ as Arsenal loanee impresses in France

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Thierry Henry praises Folarin Balogun’s ‘refreshing mindset’ as Arsenal loanee impresses in France

Thierry Henry has praised Folarin Balogun for his decision to move to Ligue 1 side Reims over the course of the summer.

The 21-year-old was pushed down the pecking order following the arrival of Gabriel Jesus during a big summer of change for Mikel Arteta’s frontline.

At one point, Balogun appeared set for a prominent role in Arteta’s plans, with Eddie Nketiah looking close to following Alexandre Lacazette through the door before making a U-turn and signing a contract extension.

As a result, the Hale End academy graduate moved to Reims on loan, replacing Hugo Ekitike, who twice rejected a move to Newcastle United in favour of joining Paris Saint-Germain.

While in France, Balogun has scored five goals in seven Ligue 1 outings, although Reims sit only one point above the relegation zone during the early stages of the season.

After a quick-fire adaptation to life in France, Henry has been impressed.

Speaking to Amazon Prime Video in France, the Arsenal legend said: “I’m really happy for him because in general English players don’t go abroad.

“Normally players are loaned either to another Premier League side or in the Championship.

“He’s a very English-style player who likes to run down the channels but he was missing something, which was his finishing.

“He’s now starting to score goals regularly and I’m happy for that – happy he has gone abroad.

“It’s especially so considering he is a Londoner, in general Londoners struggle to leave London.

“When I heard he was coming to France, it made me think he has a refreshing mindset.”