Arsenal rejected a £5m offer from Brentford to sign prolific 18-year-old academy striker Folarin Balogun this month, according to reports.
The Daily Mail claim Brentford offered Arsenal £5m plus add-ons to sign Folarin Balogun this month. AC Milan are also showing an interest in Balogun, perhaps unsurprisingly given the Ivan Gazidis connection.
Arsenal rejected the £5m bid, and it’s not hard to see why. Balogun has eight goals and five assists in 15 appearances this season, despite picking up an injury in November.
It’s his debut campaign at u23 level, after scoring 32 goals last year – mostly with the u18s. He also assisted seven goals and won five penalties, leading the team to the u18 Premier League south division title.
The striker is still adapting to u23 football, and he’ll need some time to do the same at senior level too. That 2018/19 campaign got a lot of people watching his progress though.
Balogun signed his first professional contract with Arsenal in February last year. The deal reportedly lasts until 2021, which is in keeping with the usual length of debut professional deals.
For the time being, Balogun is still playing with the Arsenal u23s. With Tyreece John-Jules on loan, the responsibility is on Balogun to lead the line for the side.
Eddie Nketiah’s return is likely to stifle any first-team opportunities in the coming months, but again, this is only Balogun’s first season at u23 level. There’s still plenty of time for him.