Who’s Actually Seen Balogun Play 90 Mins? By Dan
Over the weekend Arsenal tweeted the news that Folarin Balogun has been judged by Four Four Two magazine as one of the top 50 teenagers in World Football. It’s not like the club have anything else to celebrate…
As things stand the young striker is allowed to discuss a move with anyone abroad. He could sign with a side outside the UK and there is nothing his employer could do about it.
So much for not allowing players anymore to enter the last year of their contract?
It’s believed the 19-year-old’s preference is to stay at the Emirates. To be fair his failure to extend his stay seems to not be motivated by money but assurance he will play.
He’s been with us since the age of 8 so while it’s believable that he loves the Gunners, he clearly backs his own ability and is not willing to be slowly transitioned into the first team.
So Mikel Arteta has been let down by those responsible for contracts (can’t blame Mr Wenger for this one).
Our manager clearly rates the youngster but shouldn’t feel the only way to keep him is by playing him in the league.
To be a big club you act like a big club. That’s why Arsenal have to call the player’s bluff, only play him when the manager feels he is ready. If that leads to him departing as a free agent, then that’s too bad. You can’t have a teenager handing out ultimatums to a club our size.
Think back to a Sir Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger. What do you think they would say if a 19-year old’s agent said the only way his client would stay was if he got promises? It’s not like Arsenal have to prove to anyone their ability to give youth a chance.
Sir Alex once let a young Piqué and Pogba walk away from Old Trafford, not because he doubted their talent, but no one was bigger than the badge. He needed to send a message that there were standards and no person ((however good) could be asking for a guarantee.
As long as we offer him a fair pay-rise and explained how a Saka and Smith are proof you can graduate from our academy to first team, that’s all we can do. If after that he still doesn’t want to be in North London, then that’s fine, let him go.
I only want players wearing the shirt who care, certainly not those who believe in their hype without doing anything in senior football.
It’s easy for some gooners to say they would have started him in the League by now but that’s with hindsight. No one could have envisaged our forwards would be as bad as they have been.
Even now, we need to try and rescue this campaign by at the minimum finishing 7th (I assume that will be enough to qualify for Europe) or by trying to win the Europa League. Would you really decide that Benfica away is the correct time to play a rookie just to keep him sweet?
Finally I want to ask all readers an honest question? If you would like to answer, feel free to do so in the comments.
Apart from the couple of sub appearances he made in the Europa League, how many hof you have actually seen Balogun play?
For those worrying we might lose this future star, or for those demanding he should play for the First Team so that he changes his mind; What are you basing this on?
Unless you regularly watch our under 23 side, all the hype is coming from the media (who have done this before). Remember how Eddie Nketiah was the next Ian Wright? That was equally based on his record for the reserves.
So again; I ask out of interest, who’s seen this kid play?
If you haven’t, we have to trust our manager, who sees him every day in training and should only play him when he’s earnt it, not because he wants a new contract.
Be kind in the comments…