Folarin Balogun Among Those Deemed Dispensable
The case of Folarin Balogun is one that has caused disgruntlement from supporters. The 19-year-old made his breakthrough in the senior side this year after impressing in the youth setup, scoring his first goal for the club in the Europa League victory over Molde.
Highly-rated, it appeared as if the striker wouldn’t even be on Arsenal’s books this season with interest in his services from sides across Europe last term. His current deal expires in the summer and he’s free to speak to other clubs, although Arteta has repeatedly stated that it is his wish to tie the New York City-born forward down long-term.
Arteta has even added that the feeling is mutual with Balogun, insisting that the only issues on the talks surrounded the length of his new contract.
However, there has been no update on that front and David Ornstein of The Athletic even added that talks were not progressing and a departure appeared the most likely outcome. Given the difference of opinion on that front, he would be set to leave as a free agent.
The fact he’s been included on the Independent’s list suggests that Arsenal are resigned to losing him. If that is the case, then it’s undoubted disappointment. Balogun has shown all the traits one could desire for in a striker, even making the step up to European football effortlessly.
Contact has now been made by Swansea in the Championship, who have not replaced the goals score by last season’s loanee Rhian Brewster. This comes courtesy of Football Insider, who add that a move for Michael Obafemi was originally planned prior to the Southampton forward’s injury.
Should Balogun not pen fresh terms with Arsenal, then a permanent departure this month has to be planned. Of course, it would constitute another miserable contractual failing on the club’s part to not tie him down, especially given how exciting a prospect Balogun is.
They’ve dug themselves a hole here. While we won’t know the full extent of the situation behind the scenes, Arsenal must not let this worsen by having him leave on a free transfer. It shouldn’t, however, have got to this point.