Arsenal, in their quest to mount a Premier League title challenge, made some significant summer signings. These additions were intended to provide the edge needed to topple reigning champions Manchester City. However, such an ambitious summer spending spree necessitated balancing the books, and this inevitably led to a few casualties. Among them was promising young striker Folarin Balogun.
The financial aspect played a pivotal role in Arsenal’s decision to part ways with Balogun. The Gunners managed to secure a transfer fee of £35 million for the 22-year-old striker, despite his limited senior-level experience with the club.
This injection of funds came at a crucial time for Arsenal, as they sought to bolster their squad for. However, there were more factors at play in this transfer.
Balogun’s career so far
Balogun’s loan spell at Stade Reims in Ligue 1 proved to be a turning point in his career. He scored an impressive 21 goals in 37 appearances, making a name for himself in the football world.
His manager during that time, Will Still, commended not only his footballing ability but also his character, describing him as a top person who was eager to learn the language.
Upon his return to Arsenal, Balogun understandably desired more playing time. He stated, “I wanted to play, I wanted to prove to people that I can compete at this level.”
Not an easy competition at the Emirates
However, with competition for the striker position from players like Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah, securing a first-team spot was a challenge
Mikel Arteta, explained that the decision to sell Balogun was due to the lack of space in the squad. It would have ultimately led to a lack of game time for the youngster.
Arteta also expressed his satisfaction with Balogun’s move, highlighting the young striker’s potential to thrive at a club.
Balogun’s performance since moving to another club has been impressive. In just five Ligue 1 games, he has netted three goals and provided an assist.
This form has raised questions about whether Arsenal might have acted quickly in letting go of a promising young striker.
Gabriel Jesus, has faced challenges in front of goal, scoring just one Premier League goal in six games. The contrast between his and Balogun’s performances has fueled speculation that Arsenal might have missed out on a talented striker
In the long run, Arsenal’s decision to sell Balogun may come under scrutiny, especially if their attacking options falter. Yet, at the time of the transfer, it was a calculated move aimed at addressing the club’s financial needs and making room for new signings.
Only time will reveal whether this decision was prudent or whether it cost Arsenal the chance to develop a young star who might have made a significant impact on their title ambitions.
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