Fulham

Fulham

Premier League • England

Fulham formulate Premier League survival plan by signing the last man standing at Arsenal

Folarin Balogun, Arsenal, December 2020.

Fulham are eyeing the Premier League quality of Arsenal man Folarin Balogun, with their top-flight return looking imminent.

Fulham look as if they will soon secure their return to the Premier League. They could have done so at the weekend but for a 2-1 loss to Derby County.

But with such a handy lead between them and the chasing pack in the play-off positions, a return to the top flight seems a matter of when, not if. Indeed, a win in their next game versus Preston would confirm Fulham’s Premier League status once again.

Their last few stints in the top flight have been less than successful. Indeed, each of their last three Premier League seasons have ended in relegation.

Fulham did not manage to last more than a season in either of their last two Premier League campaigns. In both 2018/19 and 2020/21 they were sent straight back down following promotion from the Championship.

Of course, they will be keen not to let the same happen again. As such, they will want to recruit well to stand a chance of avoiding the drop.

The Cottagers are poised to lose attacking midfielder Fabio Carvalho to Liverpool. In response, they are making tracks towards signing Manor Solomon from Shakhtar Donetsk.

On top of that move, Fulham are now reportedly interested in signing Arsenal forward Balogun on loan, per the Daily Mail.

The Gunners saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leave for Barcelona in January. The Gabon superstar wasn’t replaced, leaving Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette to carry the can up front.

However, that pair too could leave this summer with each player poised to become a free agent. If both left, that would leave Balogun as the last recognised first-team centre-forward on Arsenal’s books.

Balogun has an eye for goal

Folarin Balogun playing for England under-21s

Goals will be an important factor in keeping Fulham afloat next season. The last time they were in the Premier League they scored just 27 times – the second-lowest total in the league.

Adding Balogun to the side should help them in front of goal. The youngster has been a prolific forward in his as yet short career.

Balogun scored 13 goals in Premier League 2 this season in just 11 games before he was loaned out. While he has not had quite the same effect at Middlesbrough, he has still managed to contribute to five goals in 15 games, starting just eight of those.

He has also made his mark on the international stage. The 20-year-old has scored three times in his last two appearances for the England Under-21 side.

Fulham will hope that if they do make the signing, he can reverse their yo-yo trend upon winning promotion to the Premier League.

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