Nottingham Forest add Arsenal academy star to list of January targets

Folarin Balogun looks set for a loan move away from the Emirates, with Steve Cooper the latest Championship manager to take interest.

The 20-year-old joined Arsenal’s youth academy in 2017 and has been with the club ever since. He has heavily featured in their under 23’s squad, and has a record-breaking 35 goals inside the Premier League 2. Now, The 72 have reported Nottingham Forest are taking note of the striker’s availability.

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, and Eddie Nketiah ahead of him in the pecking order, it appears the American-Englishman could be allowed to leave on a short-term deal.

Balogun himself has also stated his desire for more first-team action.

Speaking to The Daily Mirror, Balogun said: “I feel like I am ready for a new challenge.

“I feel like I have played youth football for a while. I’ve scored goals at that level and improved at that level drastically compared to now. At the same time, I am not sure what that challenge might be.

“It might be a loan, or if I am needed at Arsenal I am here and the gaffer knows that.

“I feel like I am definitely open to a new challenge, wherever it is I will be ready.

“As a striker and as a young player you need minutes. It is the best way to learn and get consistency.

“Whatever the plan is I’m going to give it 100 per cent and believe it will work out.”

Nottingham Forest are not the only club interested in the youngster – Middlesbrough, Swansea and Millwall have also been linked with a move.

Cooper’s side sit eighth in the Championship, and also have the sixth-highest goal return with 30 goals in 22 games.

But Forest seem desperate to add another forward to bolster their ranks. Having also been linked with Aston Villa’s Keinan Davis, a new forward is clearly a priority this January.

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Another forward on Nottingham Forest’s radar was Norwich’s Adam Idah.

The 20-year-old has eleven caps for the Republic of Ireland, and has featured 22 times in the Premier League.

However, Dean Smith looks set to feature Idah more prominently after he fell out of favour under Daniel Farke.

He was an unused substitute against Manchester United, but he played almost 70 minutes against Tottenham Hotspur, so a departure seems unlikely.

As quoted by PinkUN, Dean Smith has already spoken about his hopes of Idah fulfilling his potential at Norwich: “Our job, myself and the coaching staff, to make sure these players, who have got potential, make sure they start to fulfil it.

“The likes of Adam, Josh and some of the younger lads we have signed will have to start coming to the party. I have said before we can’t be too over-reliant on Teemu. He can score at this level, but we need others to chip in.”

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