​Arsenal loanee Balogun reveals benefits of Reims loan

Arsenal loanee Folarin Balogun says life in France is hardening him.

The striker was told to go and “become a man” by Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.

While he had chances to go to a club in the Championship in England, he chose France instead, despite not speaking the language.

“Before I moved, Mikel said he wanted me to develop as a man. It was kind of like an open answer and for me to interpret what me meant by develop as a man,” he said.

“But by moving abroad, I’m starting to learn what he meant. It doesn’t just mean on the pitch but also off the pitch. I think by the time I go back I’ll be in a better place to compete than I was before I left.

He added: “I realised there were certain things I would struggle with but I think that’s a good thing.

“It helps you to manage stuff you’re uncomfortable with which is important. It is still early but definitely if I am around those sorts of names at the end of the season I would be really happy with myself.”