According to Sky Sports, Arsenal are hoping for £8 million for Folarin Balogun. The young academy striker is being chased by Brentford, who could sign the player for free next summer when his contract at Emirates comes to an end. Arsenal, however, have still opted to throw a hefty valuation on Balogun, who is considered as one of the most talented players to come out of their academy recently.
Does Balogun have a future at Arsenal?
A centre-forward by trade, Balogun has made quite an impact with his striking abilities in the Arsenal academy. The youngster has notably scored ten goals in 15 Premier League 2 matches this campaign, lighting up the reserve league. As far as his future at Arsenal is concerned, though, things are pretty uncertain at the moment.
The Gunners already boast the services of two of Premier League’s most gifted attackers in Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Both the players have also settled in rather well under new manager Mikel Arteta.
Aubameyang, however, is facing an uncertain future at the Emirates, although Arsenal’s recent FA Cup triumph could help the club in their bid to keep hold of the Gabonese international. And if he does leave north London this summer, Arteta has the services of Lacazette, as well as Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah, with the latter already starting to push for a more prominent role in the first-team next season.
And with this in mind, it seems unlikely that Balogun will get the opportunity to make a first-team breakthrough next season. There is, however, a chance that 19-year-old could be given a promotion to the senior side, especially if Aubameyang or Lacazette leave the club this summer.
Is Brentford the ideal destination for Balogun?
While a breakthrough at Arsenal seems unlikely, Brentford could be an intriguing destination for Balogun next season. It is largely because of the fact their manager, Thomas Frank, has impressed the onlookers with his attack-oriented approach, with the club notably scoring the highest number of goals in the Championship this season.
However, this has come at a hefty cost, with the Bees now running the risk of losing both their star players in Said Benrahma and Ollie Watkins. The latter, in particular, seems like an excellent fit for newly promoted Leeds United. And this could actually serve as positive news for Balogun.
Indeed, the departure of these two players could allow the Arsenal youngster to instantly become a key figure in the Brentford attack next season, although the Bees are still likely to sign replacements in the summer. It is the tactical philosophy of Frank that could help Balogun flourish at Griffin Park, thus making Brentford an ideal destination for the 19-year-old.
However, a lot could depend on whether or not the Championship side manage to gain promotion to the Premier League when they face Fulham on Tuesday. Their prolonged stay in the Championship is much more desirable for Balogun if he intends to get first-team opportunities.
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