You always leave yourselves over a barrel if a player enters the final six months of their contract, so it looks like Arsenal have paid the price when it comes to Folarin Balogun.
The young striker is very highly rated at The Emirates and he’s shown some flashes of brilliance when he has been given a chance, but the problem for him is that he didn’t get enough of them with the first team.
The reality is that it could take two or three years to figure out how good he could really be, but that won’t happen with Arsenal as it’s just been reported that he’s signed a pre-contract agreement with RB Leipzig:
– Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun has agreed a pre-contract with RB Leipzig.??
— Football Insider (@footyinsider247) January 13, 2021
Of course it will come down to how many chances he gets with the first team in Germany, but this does look like a good move on his part.
He’ll join a club who are famous for recruiting and developing young players and he’ll probably get a regular chance of Champions League football too, while he could be stuck in the U23s for years if he stayed in London.
His main action has come in the Europa League where he delivered an amazing return of two goals and one assist in only 61 minutes of action, but he’s pretty much untested at the top level apart from that.
It certainly looks like a blow for Arsenal, but time will tell just how much they’ll regret this situation.
Interestingly there has since been an update from the widely respected Fabrizio Romano on the topic, and this suggests that nothing has been done with Leipzig at this point:
Folarin Balogun has received more than 15 bids as a free agent for next summer. His contract situation with Arsenal is stalling, still complicated because he wants to play. ? #AFC
RB Leipzig have *not* made an official bid to sign Balogun as of today. ?? #RBLeipzig
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 13, 2021