Arsenal is apparently willing to complete a Folarin Balogun transfer this summer, despite his recent success on loan. The United States men’s national team striker netted an impressive 22 goals in 39 total appearances with French side Reims last season. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen if club manager Mikel Arteta rates the striker high enough to keep him.
The Gunners currently have undisputed number-one striker Gabriel Jesus leading their front line. The Brazilian is essentially a guaranteed starter when fit. Arsenal also has Eddie Nketiah, Leandro Trossard, and new signing Kai Havertz as potential options up front. This logjam at the position could very well lead to the club cashing in on their investment.
At least handful of clubs currently interested in striker
According to Evening Standard, the north London outfit currently value Balogun at around $65 million. The American will certainly garner interest from clubs all over Europe. In fact, West Ham, RB Leipzig, Crystal Palace, and AC Milan have all been linked with the striker in recent months. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen if these teams would be willing to meet Arsenal’s asking price.
American featured on the wing during summer friendly
Balogun made an appearance in Arsenal’s first preseason friendly of the summer on Thursday. The striker entered the fray as the second-half substitute. Interestingly enough, Balogun mostly played out on the right flank, not as a traditional center forward. Despite playing just the final 35 minutes of the game, the American hit the post and sent another shot just wide of the goal.
After the match, Arteta did not exactly confirm that Balogun will remain with the team. “Well this is what he has been doing and that’s why we gave him the minutes that he deserves to show what he can do,” stated Arteta. “He’s just staying here with us at the moment and we will see what happens.”
The coach’s comments certainly seem to indicate that the club could soon part with the player. Balogun has insisted that he will not accept another loan move. This would then mean that a permanent transfer away from Arsenal seems likely for the American.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Jan Huebner
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