The news that Folarin Balogun has signed a new contract with Arsenal served as music to the ears of Gunners fans around the world with many believing he has real potential to kick on and become a huge star with the club. Whether or not he can live up to that remains to be seen but at the age of just 19, there’s every reason to believe he can do some serious damage.
It’s been a while since Arsenal had what can be universally described as a good season. Though many expected plenty of positives from the first whole campaign of Mikel Arteta in charge, it hasn’t really been the case. The team are sitting in 10th place in the Premier League, and have been watching the Champions League on TV for four years. Reaching UEFA’s elite competition through top-four placement is practically mission impossible, but the Europa League can still provide the path to the desired destination – providing Arsenal win it, of course.
Folarin Balogun has signed a new contract with Arsenal, set to keep him at the club until the summer of 2025. That is according to transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano, who says the youngster turned down 15 different offers from other clubs to move as a free agent, the most lucrative one from Bayer Leverkusen, in order to stay with the Gunners. Manager Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu played a big part, putting in a strong effort to convince Balogun there’s a future for him at the Emirates. However, the official confirmation of the claims from the club is yet to come.
RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen are currently leading the race for the signature of Folarin Balogun when his contract with Arsenal expires in the summer, according to the latest report on that front by the Mirror.
Arsenal have been trying to get the youngster to recommit his future and stay at the Emirates, seeing him as a player for the future, and manager Mikel Arteta recently expressed some optimism about it, but it seems Balogun has no intention of waiting any longer for regular first-team opportunities. He hasn’t played a single Premier League game so far, featuring only in the Europa League and the Carabao Cup this term. He’s scored twice in four appearances in the European competition, and only played in the 1-4 cup defeat to Manchester City back in December. Instead, he has mostly played for the Under-23 side, scoring seven goals and assisting twice in the Premier League 2.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is confident that Folarin Balogun will sign a new contract and stay at the club for a long time yet.
The New York-born 19-year-old attacker, who has represented both England and the USA at different youth levels, is widely considered a great talent, and rightly so. He has so far only played in the Europa League and the Carabao Cup when it comes to the first team, scoring twice and assisting once in five games. It’s obvious that the youngster is hungry for more minutes at senior level, so vital for taking the next step in his development. He is currently with Arsenal’s Under-23 team, but having scored 20 goals in 44 appearances for them so far, it seems he believes he has outgrown that level. To be fair, he probably has.
The race for the signature of Folarin Balogun has intensified greatly in the last couple of days, as reported by The Guardian. The 19-year-old striker will be out of contract at the end of the season and he is already free to talk to clubs outside England to agree a summer move.
Apparently, no less than 15 clubs, both in the UK and abroad, have expressed an interest in Balogun’s talents, and the list has now been shortened to three serious contenders, which the report does not name. One thing it does say is that Arsenal haven’t given up on getting the youngster to recommit and stay put, and it seems the player himself hasn’t ruled out the option either – it’s a real possibility.
Folarin Balogun seems set to leave Arsenal when his contract expires in the summer. He is now free to discuss a deal with a foreign club and sign a pre-contract agreement if one is reached, and according to The Athletic, he is close to doing so.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta recently spoke about the situation, making it clear that three parties are needed to agree a new contract; the club and manager want the player to stay, the player wants to stay, but he wasn’t so sure about the player’s agent in this case. On the other hand, Balogun and his agent have redirected the questions about desire for the player to stay, back at the club and the manager.
Arsenal have reopened the negotiations with Folarin Balogun over a new contract, according to David Ornstein of The Athletic.
In January this year, the Gunners reportedly rejected a £5 million offer for his services from Brentford and were discussing fresh terms with him. However, no progress had been made by June and the 19-year-old was said to be keen to move on from the club. The talks were then brought to a halt, after he reportedly rejected all offers, and Arsenal felt compelled to start listening to suitable offers in order to avoid the prospect of letting him go for free when his current deal expires next summer. Sheffield United are also said to have had a bid turned down during the summer transfer window, with manager Chris Wilder openly speaking about the Blades’ desire for Balogun.