Objectively speaking if you can decide between going more or less anywhere you want to go or extending your contract and going out on loan to a yet to be determined team than to me it is an obvious choice.
It is always going to be near impossible to earn a spot in the first team squad at a young age for youth prospects in England. That is why you see more and more young British talents go abroad.
A few years ago my hometeam (PSV) brought in 16 y/o Madueke from Spurs, at that time presumably their brightest prospect (haha).
He started in our academy but has since progressed quickly. First playing in our “young” team in the second division and then making his debut in the first team. He’s gained lots of professional experience and is still almost a year younger than Balogun, who has thus far in his career mostly trained and played against other youth teams.
The same can be said for Malen. He could extend his contract a few years ago but instead he decided to join PSV. He started in our “young” team, playing in the Dutch second tier, proving himself against veteran defenders (albeit of questionable quality) and scoring 13 in 22. The last two seasons he has been with the first team, playing 45 matches in the Eredivisie scoring a goal every other game.
What do you realistically think would have happened if he had decided to stay on? Of course you can never know but he would have probably gone on loan and struggled to make the cut. Look at Nketiah. He only had a couple of starts with Leeds and most of his playing time came as a sub. Not because he was not talented but because things were going well as it was with the team and why bring in a player who would probably never join them on a permanent deal.
The resistance and overall conditions to play are simply too hard for most young talents, even in the Championship.
Even with PSV it is extremely hard to make it from the youth ranks to the first squad. I’ve seen it time and time again where the biggest talents failed to make it all the way. I am talking about 16 y/o talents that would get offers from the top teams throughout Europe. The step up from youth games to even our “Young” team in the second division is really big, let alone to the Eredivisie. I cannot imagine how it must be for a talent in England.
Actually 5 years ago it was more common for big talents to leave Dutch youth academies to go to England but I can’t think of one player who has made the cut overseas.
It is a serious problem and I don’t know how Arsenal can solve this kind of thing. They will need to present their biggest talents with a better plan, to assure they get enough game time on a high enough level and continued to develop in a meaningful way.