Ian Wright names Arsenal star who will explode under Arteta next season, with player facing two huge decisions

Ian Wright pundit, January 2022

Arsenal legend Ian Wright has revealed which Gunners man he is expecting to shine next season, with a tally of 15 goals or more potentially on the cards.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has very strong attacking options which include hungry young players and experienced heads. Out wide he tends to use Bukayo Saka on the right and Gabriel Martinelli on the left. Both wingers have got among the goals this season, establishing themselves as vital cogs in the Arsenal title push.

In January, Arsenal signed Leandro Trossard from Brighton after missing out on Mykhaylo Mudryk. Trossard was brought in mainly to provide competition for Saka and Martinelli in wide areas, though Arsenal also liked the fact the Belgian can play as a false nine.

And this is where Trossard has mainly played for Arsenal while centre-forward Gabriel Jesus has been recovering from injury. Trossard has slotted in seamlessly, scoring one goal and putting up six assists for his team-mates in 12 appearances.

In a huge boost for Arsenal, Jesus is now back to full fitness and will be hoping to gain his first league start since November this weekend. The Gunners host Leeds United at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon.

Arteta’s forward options are further bolstered by Emile Smith Rowe, Reiss Nelson, Fabio Vieira and Eddie Nketiah, while captain Martin Odegaard tends to play in a midfield three alongside Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka.

READ MORE: Massive Arsenal boost as Euro giants ruled out from signing top Arteta objective, with rival transfer agreed

Surprisingly, one of Arsenal’s most in-form attackers this season has been playing abroad. The man in question is 21-year-old striker Folarin Balogun, who has been incredible while on loan at Ligue 1 outfit Stade Reims. So far has he found the back of the net 18 times in 29 matches.

Wright, who played for Arsenal between 1991 and 1998, thinks Balogun will continue that form and emerge into a lethal attacker for Arteta next campaign.

Ian Wright makes big striker prediction

“Hopefully he can come back to Arsenal at some stage and prove himself. He’s gone to another level in confidence,” the pundit said on his Wrighty’s House podcast.

“I think anywhere he goes in aspect of leagues; he’ll do what he is doing (in France) with the right service. It’s the way he’s taking those chances. His head space is at a different place right now. He knows he can do it right now.

“I guarantee you if he comes back, he probably picks up from what he’s doing in that league.”

Balogun is certainly facing a career crossroads this summer. He could either stay at Arsenal and fight for his place, or secure a transfer while his stock is at an all-time high.

Balogun would love to become Arsenal’s main centre-forward after graduating from their academy. And he will feel he has earned regular game time under Arteta after being in such great form with Stade Reims.

However, Jesus is crucial to the way Arsenal play and it will therefore be hard for Balogun to displace him. Due to this, the youngster runs the risk of simply warming the bench in north London.

Alternatively, Balogun could consider leaving Arsenal. He may have to drop down a level, such as by joining a mid-table Prem team, but this would at least give him the chance to play more regularly.

Balogun is also facing a tough decision about his international allegiances. He was born in New York but has represented England U21s. As a result, both the USA and England are trying to convince him to play for them. On Tuesday, TEAMtalk revealed that the USA are leading the charge right now.

Whatever Balogun decides in terms of club and country, his career is one to watch out for as he is certainly set for big things.

Meanwhile, TEAMtalk has learned why Arsenal have a slight edge over Man Utd and Man City in the pursuit of a top La Liga talent.