Folarin Balogun: A Rising Star in Arsenal’s Midst
Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun, a shimmering gem from their academy, finds himself at the centre of fervent transfer talk. The 21-year-old striker’s future hangs in the balance as a hefty €58 million (£50m) valuation has been slapped on him by the Gunners, as reported by Football Transfers.
Balogun’s Loan Stint: A Shining Success
Balogun, following a highly successful loan stint at Ligue 1 outfit Stade Reims, has garnered attention from Europe’s footballing titans. His superb performance, punctuated by a haul of 22 goals across all competitions for Will Still’s side, has caught the eye of several major clubs.
Among those reportedly showing interest in Balogun are AC Milan, Juventus, Marseille, and RB Leipzig. However, Arsenal’s ambitious pricing of the young prodigy might deter any immediate move for the player.
A Difficult Crossroad for Arsenal and Balogun
While Arsenal brace themselves for potential offers, they remain steadfast in their evaluation of Balogun. The young USMNT star has communicated his unwillingness for another loan sojourn. After a shining display in the French top tier last season, Balogun is keen on solidifying his place rather than embarking on another temporary journey.
The landscape at Arsenal complicates the matter further. Mikel Arteta’s team bolstered their attacking options with the addition of Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City last summer and Kai Havertz from Chelsea in the current window. Havertz’s versatility, which includes operating in midfield, has created yet another hurdle in Balogun’s quest for regular first-team action at the Emirates Stadium.
Further, the Hale End academy product, Eddie Nketiah, renewed his contract in June 2022, which makes it more plausible for Balogun to be sold.
Balogun’s Journey at Arsenal
Balogun began the 2021/22 Premier League season in the starting eleven in a 2-0 defeat to Brentford. He also made a late appearance as a substitute in the following 2-0 loss to Chelsea but hasn’t been seen in the competition since. His last appearance in an Arsenal shirt came during a 5-1 victory over Sunderland in the Carabao Cup in December 2021.
Thereafter, he was loaned out to Middlesbrough for the latter half of the 2021/22 campaign. This was followed by a move to Reims, where he spent a season-long loan stint.
Recently, Balogun turned his back on England to pledge his international allegiance to the United States. Born in New York, Balogun marked his second international appearance with a goal against Canada.