Falarin Balagun admits that he threw himself into the abyss Reims as he tries to overcome the language barrier and Ligue 1.

The Arsenal The striker has scored five goals in six starts on loan at Stade Auguste Delaunay, although they sit in fourth-bottom place after just one win in eight games.

He earned praise from Thierry Henry for his move to France and received advice from team-mate Nicolas Pepe, who is currently on loan at Nice, ahead of the move.

Balagun is now a village England Under 21 ahead of Thursday’s friendlies in Italy and Tuesday’s Germany in Sheffield, and believes the jump to France has already changed him.

“I think it’s really important to just throw myself into the deep end like I’m trying to do and hopefully I don’t sink,” the 21-year-old said.

“Almost every training session I get confused about something, so I have to ask a lot of questions, I have to pick up key words, and that’s how I learn the language now.

“I just ask questions and if I’m not sure about something, I try to remember phrases I’ve heard before.

“If you’re sitting on the edge, it takes you longer to figure things out. I’m still learning the language. I will be learning this for a long time.

Falarin Balagun scored five goals in six starts on loan at Reims (Martin Rickett/Pennsylvania)

(PA Wire)

“It’s hard, but I try my best to integrate with everyone. Lessons (French) once a week for an hour. I tried to work a little longer, but my head started to hurt.

“You really need it because there are maybe only three people in the club who speak English. The players just speak French.

“A few times I ask for simple things like, ‘Can you pass me some water?’ and he looks at me thinking “what are you saying?”

“That is why it is necessary to learn the language. It helps me grow a lot because you just take care of yourself.

“Before I moved, Mikel (Arteta) just wanted me to develop as a man. It was kind of an open answer and it was up to me to explain what I meant by “developing as a man”.

“Moving abroad, I begin to understand what he meant. This means not only on the field, but also off the field. I think by the time I come back I’ll be in a better place to compete than I was before I left.”

Meanwhile, Yaya Toure has been with the Young Lions this week as he continues to gain experience as a coach.

Former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has been with England Under-21s this week to gain some extra experience (Martin Ricketts/Pennsylvania)

(Archive PA)

The former Manchester City midfielder, who is the Tottenham under-16 manager, has been out of coaching and had a brief spell watching St George’s Park.

“He knows Joel (Lescott) well and has a connection with John McDermott so it’s a good chance for him,” boss Lee Carsley said. “It’s always good to have players like that around our players, inspirational players who have been there and done that.

“He’s a pretty quiet guy, he doesn’t sit around and tell stories about what he’s won. He is very modest. He’s just supportive and spent two days with us.”


Previous articleLiz Truss faces fresh questions over economic plans as government’s interest bill on debt soars to record £8.2bn
Next articleEmily Ratajkowski ditches Sarah Foster over Adam Levine scandal