Folarin Balogun has revealed Alexandre Lacazette urged him to depart from Arsenal last term and ‘kept on telling’ him to move to Ligue 1.
The 21-year-old forward made his Premier League debut last term, however, he was limited to just four games for the first-team, despite the side’s struggles up front.
Balogun was tipped to depart from the North London giants at the end of his deal, however, he was convinced to sign a new four-year contract in north London after extensive talks with Mikel Arteta.
The North London giants spent big on signing Gabriel Jesus from Man City last summer and the Brazilian’s hit the ground running at the Emirates.
Jesus replaced Lacazette after the Frenchman joined Ligue 1 giants, Lyon at the end of his current deal with the Gunners.
Lacazette was part of the reason that Balogun couldn’t break into the Gunners team and the youngster joined Reims on a season-long loan deal before the season started.
And the forward has revealed that Lacazette ‘kept on telling’ him to leave the North London giants because he felt he would thrive in France.
‘He’s a great player,’ Balogun said of Lacazette in an interview with Amazon Prime Video Sport.
‘When he was at Arsenal he would always help me progress and improve, teaching me techniques and giving me advice.
‘I remember speaking to Lacazette and he kept on telling me: you need to go to Ligue 1, you will do well here. Maybe he should become my agent as well because he has a great knowledge of football!”
‘I’ve spent my whole career in London so when I came here I knew it was going to be different, I didn’t know the language and I’m still trying to learn – but for me, it’s important to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself.
‘This is the reason I’m here and hopefully this decision will be good for me and pay off.’