As we all know, Folarin Balogun’s contract is coming to an end this summer. Even though he made only 5 appearances for Arsenal’s first team this season, Arteta wants to keep him no matter what.
As Lacazette is likely to leave Arsenal this summer, and Nketiah’s inconsistency has damaged Arteta’s trust in the young player, next season could be Balogun’s breakthrough season. Of course, the breakthrough season is a very big word to use here, but it is certain that he will get his chances more often.
However, there seems to be 1 obstacle between the young striker and Arsenal: Balogun’s management team, as they don’t seem to trust Arteta enough. With the lack of playtime, the contract running to an end this summer and as well a lot of interest from big clubs, Balogun’s manager is keen on him leaving the club.
Back in January it was rumoured that roundabout 15 clubs were interested in Folarin Balogun, with the German side RB Leipzig leading the race. But as talks continued between Arsenal and the New York-born striker, Balogun’s manager has thrown a new contract on the table. £45.000 a week should be enough to keep him in London, which has caused a lot of fuss within the Arsenal fan base. Personally, I agree with the fans.
Knowing that ESR, Bukayo Saka and Reiss Nelson combined (!) earn a total of £45.000 a week, the potential new contract is just out of order. If the club would negotiate with Balogun’s management, and could reduce it to a £25.000 – £30.000 contract, I would be more than happy, but giving such a big contract to a young player who has barely made appearances for the club would be a very bold move, a dumb move even.
Nevertheless, I still think that Arsenal should do utmost to keep him. Just look at ex-Arsenal players like Serge Gnabry (Bayern), Jeff Reïne-Adelaide (Lyon) and Donyell Malen (PSV), who also left the club at a young age and now belong to the European top. Because of these events, this club has learned to be very careful in these kind of situations, and that’s why I think that Arteta is actually handling the whole transfer saga around Balogun really well. Let’s just hope it ends on a positive note, whether he leaves or not. Remember: no player is more important than the club!
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