Arsenal could lose one of their strikers this summer, with newly returning Folarin Balogun linked with a move to Inter Milan.
The Hale End academy graduate joined the club in 2012, and after a successful season at Reims could be heading to the exit after 11 years. Arsenal fans have had their say on the American’s potential departure.
— Eduardo Hagn (@EduardoHagn) July 17, 2023
A fair valuation?
The North London club are reported to value the forward at £50m.
BREAKING: Inter Milan are exploring a deal to sign Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun who is understood to be valued at £50M pic.twitter.com/5WcFKz5Vzl
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) July 17, 2023
In 37 Ligue 1 appearances, the striker netted 21 goals and registered two assists, asserting his dominance in France in a statement to Mikel Arteta to consider him as Arsenal's potential firm leader of the line. Fans have questioned Arsenal’s valuation of the striker.
I wouldn't sell Balogun to Inter for €30m, because if Balogun belonged to Inter scoring 21 League goals and Arsenal tried to sign him, they won't sell for €30m pic.twitter.com/L5NaMIoa5O
— UpYourArsenal🔴⚪🔴⚪♥️ (@UPYOURARSENAL04) July 16, 2023
Balogun has a place at Arsenal
The Gunners’ first-choice striker is currently Gabriel Jesus, who signed from Manchester City last summer, while the Brazilian has won the hearts of many due to his workrate.
However, the 26-year-old has failed to net over 14 goals in any of his seven Premier League seasons. The former City menace could see his position threatened by Balogun, should he stay in north London.
I’ve read everywhere all over different platforms that @balogun should be first choice striker because he banged more goals than Jesus last season. I really strongly agree on this he should be given this chance. He has so much potential and he is hungry for goals
— Louis Reid (@Louislnreid) July 17, 2023
It’s not only fans that have backed the United States international to get regular game time at his boyhood club.
Folarin Balogun for Arsenal youth:
✅U-18: 41 games, 38 goals & 8 assists
✅U-23: 49 games, 22 goals & 7 assists
Promoted to the first team. I hope that he'll get a real chance from Arteta next season. It's about time. 🔴⚪️ pic.twitter.com/YNObeVSTwf
— Football Talent Scout – Jacek Kulig (@FTalentScout) July 21, 2021
A product of Arsenal’s Hale End academy, Arteta could nurture the talents of the 22-year-old to show the potential for home-grown talent, with the striker being praised by Thierry Henry for his mindset.
"English-style player who likes to run down the channels but he was missing something, which was finishing.He's now starting to score goals regularly.When I heard he was coming to France,made me think he has refreshing mindset"
– Thierry Henry on Balogunpic.twitter.com/4U88ZT53qW
— Doc (@karthikadhaigal) September 11, 2022
Should Arsenal cash in on Balogun?
On the flip side, some fans are supportive of the rumours regarding a potential exit, with not everyone convinced of his antics in France.
– Standout loan – rest somewhat underwhelming
– No proof he'll do it in PL
– Attitude / commitment seems questionable (Note how close knit rest of group are)
– Stock won't be as high if he gets 10-15 G/A this season
– Great clubs sell good players to stay great… #AFC
— Stuart Butler (@stuartbutler100) July 16, 2023
While Ligue 1 is packed with star names, the division has come under scrutiny for its lack of competitiveness, reinforced by UEFA’s updated football rankings.
🇫🇷 Ligue 1 is no longer a 𝗧𝗼𝗽 𝗙𝗶𝘃𝗲 league as UEFA release the latest rankings:
1 🏴 England
2 🇮🇹 Italy
3 🇩🇪 Germany
4 🇪🇸 Spain
5 🇧🇪 Belgium
6 🇳🇱 Netherlands
𝟳 🇫🇷 𝗙𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲
8 🇵🇹 Portugal
9 🇹🇷 Turkey
10 🇨🇭 Switzerland pic.twitter.com/9sdaBGk0zE
— OneFootball (@OneFootball) July 3, 2023
Fans have been quick to disregard the scoring streak of Balogun in comparison to former Arsenal players that have found form in France.
It’s a deal that has sparked debate among fans, where on one hand is an academy graduate wanting a way into the starting 11, and another where a lucrative sum could come Arsenal’s way with his form not guaranteed to translate in the Premier League.