2 Arsenal players train separately from main squad

WASHINGTON, DC: Folarin Balogun #26 of Arsenal FC looks on during the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge between Arsenal FC and MLS All-Stars at Audi Field on July 18, 2023. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

On Monday afternoon, The Athletic broke the news that Folarin Balogun and Oleksandr Zinchenko were training with individual coaches, away from the main Arsenal squad.

Football.London clarify that Balogun was initially part of the main group for warm-ups and stretches, but when the rest of the squad went off to do ball drills, Balogun went back to the dressing room before returning to work with an individual fitness coach.

In Zinchenko’s case, the individual training sessions are clearly due to his recent calf injury. The left-back wasn’t even involved in the initial warm-ups.

Zinchenko was always expected to be out of action until now, but the hope is that he’ll be available for matches again before long.

Oleksandr Zinchenko returns to training (via Arsenal.com)
Oleksandr Zinchenko returns to training (via Arsenal.com)

For Balogun, it’s less clear why he split off from the rest of Arteta’s squad on Monday.

It’s possible he’s also carrying an injury problem, but the current transfer gossip around the striker fuels speculation that he might be training separately as he nears a move.

Given the U.S. international was still involved in the main warm-up, he’s evidently not being kept away from the rest of the squad completely. A fitness issue seems the most likely explanation at the moment.

Balogun USMNT
Folarin Balogun with the USMNT (Photo via Balogun on Twitter)

CBS Sports recently reported that Inter Milan were ready to test Arsenal with a €40m bid for Balogun, but they haven’t formally submitted it yet.

According to CBS, Arsenal have a £50m valuation on the striker, so Inter’s bid (which equates to £34.6m) is likely to fall well short.

The Gunners also know that Balogun has admirers in the Premier League, including Brighton, Crystal Palace, and West Ham United.

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