Folarin Balogun has agreed to join RB Leipzig from Arsenal, according to one report.
When it became apparent that negotiations had stalled, the short time Arsenal fans had to enjoy Folarin Balogun was set to remain as such.
Highly-thought of across the continent, the 19-year-old striker had his first dabble with senior football this season, making an immediate impact. He showed promise in his 16-minute cameo against Dundalk, then followed it up with a goal mere moments after coming off the bench against Molde.
Impressing in the Europa League, he maintained his streak of brief outings in the group stages, notching another goal and assist, to prompt widespread clamour for him to sign a new contract.
Being in the position in the first place was unacceptable from Arsenal’s point of view, as they had a young striker working his way up through the youth setups whose future hadn’t been sorted.
New year, different age bracket, but similar internal contractual failings.
Unwilling to commit to the club without being granted more senior minutes – something Mikel Arteta can’t do at this moment as even Eddie Nketiah hasn’t played for a month in a team that have found form – the insistence from the club that he has a long-term and a route into the senior team aren’t enough for the striker.
Now with 15 proposals on the table from a variety of clubs that he’s allowed to sign pre-contract agreements with, it appears he’s made up his mind.
As per Football Insider – a usually (very) questionable source that has recently shown to have some connections within the club – Balogun has agreed a deal with RB Leipzig that we see him link up with the club as a free agent in the summer. These claims have since been shut down by transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, who maintains that countless bids are on the table, with Balogun just desperate to play.
Being omitted entirely from the FA Cup squad to face Newcastle, the writing appeared firmly on the wall. Arteta has revealed that an offer is on the table for the youngster, and at this stage he can do no more.
It should never have got to here in the first place. But now it has, if Balogun isn’t willing to trust his employers, whom he’s been with since 2008, then there will be no amicable solution. Equally, Balogun wants to play. If he’s not going to at Arsenal, then he’s right to leave.
He can’t play now, not with Alexandre Lacazette in form and crucial European matches coming up, and he’s certainly not going to if he’s now chosen his new home, whether that is Leipzig or otherwise.