Procuring some cash may not come solely down to first team sales.
In the Arsenal academy ranks, there are a number of exciting prospects waiting for their opportunity to shine – none more so than Folarin Balogun.
The New York-born striker has hit stupid scoring figures for both the Under-18 and Under-23 squads, registering 47 goals and 11 assists in just 55 outings. For a while it’s been a question of when will he be given a chance in the first team as opposed to if.
Into the final year of his contract and being eyed up by sides beyond British shores, the aforementioned chance will come, just elsewhere.
Brentford have already tried their hand at prizing him away form north London, having their advances turned down with a £5m offer earlier this year. The Gunners were stern in their valuation of the 19-year-old, which sits around the £8m mark.
With English football resuming and the transfer window in full swing, it’s been Sheffield United’s turn to have a go, but their £3m bid (via the Daily Mail) has been, unsurprisingly, rejected.
Given it’s lower than the previous offer, therefore obviously less than Arsenal’s asking price, it comes as no shock. The shock, however, does reverberate when it’s mentioned that the Gunners are demanding in the region of £15m after certain bonuses are met.
For a striker with not a single minute played in senior football for Arsenal – the closest he came was when he featured on the bench in a 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest in the third round of the Carabao Cup last year – and still at a young age, it comes across as an ambitious demand. Even with big-money targets in mind.
There is no doubting his quality, though. He plays as a typical centre forward, dominating centre-backs and utilising his astounding pace to run in behind. Staying on the defenders’ shoulders, he’s not one to get beaten in a foot race. Ever.
A commodity that has become all the more appealing these days is forwards who can consummately use either foot for any purpose. Balogun is more than capable with both.
Regardless of his ability, you can’t help thinking that £15m is a tad steep. It isn’t an up front amount, but it would be Liverpool selling Dominic Solanke to Bournemouth for £20m levels of masterful negotiation. Especially since he has less than 12 months left on his deal.
We’re mercilessly stuck in the same recurring narrative of needing to sell before buying. One that each and every transfer rumour is plastered all over with. Amassing wealth from wherever possible is the aim of the game, but there might need to be some leeway on this one. Just a bit.
It’s stated in the report that more bids are expected to arrive, with Balogun not set to sign a new deal and Arsenal wanting to avoid a repeat of so many other contract situations of late and accrue a fee this summer.
Should a sum closer to the £8m wanted up front be met then it can only be seen as good business. The striking positions at Arsenal are set as they are with Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah, while as he ages it’s likely that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will move back centrally.
Arsenal will be losing an undoubted talent, mind. He’s got the technical and physical ability to make it in the Premier League. Faith is clearly being placed in Nketiah. Rightly so.