Folarin Balogun has already proven to be a formidable striker for Arsenal. But manager Mikel Arteta has not been granting the 19-year-old much game-time at the senior level. Hence, the youngster is uncertain about his future at Arsenal lately. Balogun is a valuable asset for the North Londoners and they hope to tie down the youngster as he nears the end of his contract.
However, due to the lack of game-time, he is receiving, Balogun is yet to sign a fresh contract. This raises unease among the Arsenal hierarchy and Arteta is likely to take action. The Spanish tactician is reportedly considering not playing the youngster in further games until he decides on his future with Arsenal.
With just less than six months left on his contract, Balogun can now contact other interested clubs. German outfit RB Leipzig and Premier League champions Liverpool are reportedly keen to sign the youngster. However, Balogun’s priority is to secure more game-time. If Arsenal fails to provide him with any guarantees, Folarin can choose to leave now for a fee. Else he can stay without playing for Arsenal until the end of the season and go out for free.
Mikel Arteta has a large list of attacking players available now. And with the likes of Bukayo Saka in good form, Balogun has less chance of cracking into the senior team. Hence, it looks as though the youngster may soon depart from Emirates. Arsenal may not be able to promise him proper game-time.
Sign Contract if You Want to play?
The Arsenal chiefs feel uneasy playing Folarin in the senior ranks with uncertainty on his future. They feel that if Balogun cracks into the first team and performs well before signing a contract. More clubs will be keen to steal the young talent away from Emirates. Hence, according to All Nigeria Soccer
But this may not go down well with the striker as he needs to have freewill over his decision. Balogun has been training with the senior team lately. Hence he was thought to make an appearance in the FA Cup clash against Newcastle United. But Balogun was left out of the game, which Arsenal won in a 2-0 victory, thanks to goals from Aubameyang and Emile Smith Rowe.
Balogun has the explosive nature needed for a striker. He has been able to net 4 goals from 10 appearances for the U-23 Arsenal side. But the youngster is not happy to continue playing at the lower levels. He wants to play in top form of the game and prove his worth. Mikel Arteta, however, is still focusing his attacking lineup around the likes of Aubameyang, Lacazette, and Saka.
The Spaniard understands that Balogun is a raw talent. But after a streak of unlucky games, Arteta does not want to test his luck by introducing Balogun into the top order. Hence, the youngster will have to wait to get regular first team opportunities.
The Agent Causing Challenges for Arsenal:
Mikel Arteta understands that for a deal to work, the three parties must work together. The club, the manager, and the agent of the player, but Arteta feels that Balogun’s agent has been causing challenges for the FA Cup winners. He has not been holding off the deal, but Folarin’s agent has been making efforts to secure a good deal for his player. That the club may not feel too grateful for their benefit. Arteta said -“For sure the club wants to make a deal, the manager wants to make a deal, and I’m not sure about the agent.”
Balogun is not keen to make an exit from Arsenal. However, he wants to ensure that the club provides him with more game-time. The agent is also looking to put forward the interest of his players, causing unease with the Arsenal hierarchy. But if this keeps going on, then Balogun’s agent may start talks with other interested parties.
RB Leipzig are keen to sign the youngster and they are a club known to nurture young talent. Premier League champions Liverpool are also showing interest, but Leipzig will be able to promise the youngster more game-time. This will give the German outfit an edge in luring Balogun to the Bundesliga. Losing such a talented youngster would be a huge loss for Arsenal. The North London side must look to tie down Folarin before it’s too late.
Gunners struggled for consistency in the early start of the league but now are on an unbeaten streak lately. They now sit at 11th position in the league table with 24 points in 18 league fixtures before facing Newcastle United at home on Monday evening.