Plea for Arsenal to sacrifice Nketiah for Balogun is too late

Arsenal has some of the best young players in England at the moment, giving Mikel Arteta the chance to play the youngsters on a regular basis.

This season alone has seen the emergence of Emile Smith Rowe as well as Folarin Balogun.

The former has broken into the first team in recent matches, but the latter is entering the final six months of his current deal with the club and has seen just a handful of chances.

Balogun’s path to the first-team squad has been blocked by the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah, but Arsenal fan and writer, Dave Seager, says that the Gunners should sacrifice Nketiah for him.

He admits that Nketiah is a fine finisher and can hold his own when it comes to scoring goals, however, he isn’t good with hold up play and struggles to play as a lone striker.

The England Under21 star is a talented individual, but Seager says Arteta’s style of playing with a lone striker through the middle works against his advantage, but Folarin has the attributes to thrive in such a setup.

He writes on Sun Sports: “Nketiah has ice in his veins and is a natural finisher, but he is slight of frame and not the quickest.

“His lack of strength hinders Arsenal’s hold-up play, crucial in to team success in a 4-2-3-1, through the middle, while his lack of pace makes him less suitable out wide.

“Meanwhile, Balogun has pace and strength in spadefuls, which is why so many Arsenal fans relish the prospect of him breaking into the first-team on a regular basis.

“Nketiah needs a central strike partner or two genuine, natural wingers in a 4-3-3 to thrive – not Arteta’s current mishmash of strikers on the wing.

“Arteta has given up on 4-3-3 and has never hinted at playing two central strikers, leaving Nketiah at a crossroads in his career.”

Football Insider is now reporting that Balogun has pre-agreed to join RB Leipzig, so Seager’s plea is almost certain to fall on deaf ears. Which brings up the valid question, who would you have preferred to sign for Leipzig, Nketiah or Balogun?

READ MORE: Can Arsenal really buy a playmaker with this budget?

Tags Eddie Nketiah Folarin Balogun


  1. If it’s true, well hard luck for us. Now we need to see where Eddie fits in the gameplan. I trust the manager to decide on this issue, though I would have liked Balogun given playtime. We also have the Norweigian(or Swedish) talent, Moller who can be an effective target man if developed properly.

  2. To me Balogun is the superior player and is destined for a successful career.Unfortunately this is unlikely to be with Arsenal unless our hierarchy can convince him of his future in a front three of Balogun, Martinelli and Saka. A mouth watering prospect which , sadly, may never materialise.

  3. Unfortunately Arteta may have already made his decision. Sadly without ever giving Balogun an opportunity with the first team to see who is the better prospect; Balogun or Nketiah.

    The club also share a part of the blame for allowing yet another player’s contract to dwindle down to the final 6 months and allowing any financial reimbursement to decrease.

    This is becoming a serious problem at the club, and apparently they have learned nothing since the Sanchez situation. Ramsey ran his down as well (as is the player’s right if they choose) while the club allows itself to be put in this situation.

    I wish Balogun the best of luck, and would bet in a couple of years we have another Gnabry type regret on our hands.

    Self-inflicted damage is often the most regrettable, and we have to look no further (or farther, I defer to Jon Fox) than the closest mirror.

    1. If the man refuses to sign an offer due to lack of playing time, then he must leave. Arsenal cannot be held hostage.

  4. Ramsey had a contract on the table for years and never signed because he wanted to be on the same level with ‘your great poor’ Ozil.

    Now, after many months Arsenal had to withdraw contract

    Folarin was untested and not patient to bid his time. ESR has been out on loan several times and when the time came he grabbed it.

    He can leave, no player is bigger than Arsenal, Henry played here, his time came and he left.

    Let’s wait how he performs when he leaves
    Many left and could not make it. Sometimes lack of humility can destroy you

    It seems Arteta likes him but his head has been turned. If so he won’t be successful especially when he wants to leave for free

  5. I think arteta is making another big mistake just like he did by allowing martinet move to aston vila.Balogun is the real deal striker.Time and time again he has proved to be a real lethal Stricker that we are lacking today in our team.How comes that arteta wants to sell our best?one day arteta will regret if he goes head to sell balogun.God forbid.

    1. joseph It is simply untrue to say, as you did, “time and time again he has proved to be real lethal striker”? That is nonsense, as he has scarcely been tried in the first team at all and has no real Prem experience at all, apart from a very few minutes.

      He is therefore unproven at top level. BUT he shows promise. Promise and being proven though are totally different matters.
      I hope he stays and believe he has a future But that is based right now on little more than hope and wanting it to be true and not on evidence that holds much water.

  6. Who’s to say Martinelli isnt being considered as our long term cf? With Abameyang being 33, Lacazette contract expiring at the end of next season it makes sense to let Martinelli develop on the wing before making the switch to cf. Without the burden of leading the line he can develop better and he can emulate the success Thierry had moving from the left to the centre. If he bulks up abit we could easily have the new R9 on our hands.

  7. I am not too bothered losing Balogun because of his potential, as very rarely youngsters have left us and become top quality. In fact, Gnabry is the only talent to really emerge, that I can think of.

    What does annoy me however, is that yet again, it looks as if we’ll be losing a player on a free. We may not have got much for him, but something is better than nothing!

  8. I also don’t think he wants a future witv us. The guy is young and can wait or take a loan option. We were newer in this situation with Smith Rowe.

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