Folarin Balogun has cast doubt over his future at Arsenal after claiming that he is ready for a new challenge.
The striker scored on his first start for England’s Under-21s against Czech Republic on Thursday night and, speaking afterwards, indicated that he is open to offers.
Arsenal are likely to send the 20-year-old out on loan in January, with several Championship clubs registering their interest, but he is certain that to continue developing he needs to be playing senior football regularly.
“I have played youth football for a little while, I have obviously scored a lot of goals at that level and improved at that level drastically from when I started,” Balogun said.
“I do feel like I am ready for a new challenge but I am not sure what that might be, it might be a loan or if I am needed at Arsenal then I am here and the gaffer knows that.
“I am definitely open to a new challenge but it is something that whatever that challenge is I will be ready.
“I know the potential I could have and that I need to achieve is massive. I haven’t achieved it yet. What I see now I would just describe as glimpses, things that need to be worked on and can be improved.
“The performances I am putting in are all I can do at the moment. I know that I am going in the right direction.”
Balogun has spoken with fellow Hale End graduates Emile Smith Rowe, who made his senior England debut in tonight’s win over Albania, and Bukayo Saka about his path to regular senior minutes and they have said he should remain patient.
“This time last year Emile was playing 23s football, so that just shows how quickly things can change in football,” Balogun added.
“I know that I need to be patient and I have complete faith in the gaffer. Whatever the plan is I will give 100 per cent and I know it will work out.”