Former Arsenal striker Benik Afobe has urged Folarin Balogun to leave the Emirates when his contract expires this summer.
The teenager’s future has been one of the most discussed topics around Arsenal over the last few months. Balogun hasn’t penned a new deal yet and it looks like he will leave for free at the end of this season.
Mikel Arteta was asked about Balogun’s future last week and he claimed that he is still ‘very positive’ that the young striker will stay. (Arsenal.com) However, if he listens to Afobe, he will make sure he finds a new club in the summer transfer window.
Afobe said on The Beautiful Game Podcast: “He’s (Balogun) good. I’ve seen him play. I think it’s the right decision for him to leave.
“The captain is a number nine, the other number nine is top goalscorer this season in Lacazette, and Eddie Nketiah is a couple of years older than him and he has also done well.”
“If you keep waiting for your chance, before you know it you’re 23, and managers will start picking up players who are more experienced in the Championship, who have 100 appearances to their name – instead of the guy from Arsenal who played for England under-19’s. That’s kind of what happened to me.”
Arsenal Insider’s view:
Arteta is desperate to keep him and he seems pretty positive that he’ll stay. However, the longer this drags on, more difficult it will be and it won’t be a surprise to see a top foreign club come in with a big contract offer for him.
Balogun’s path to the first-team is a hard one at the moment but that could change in the summer. The Sun recently claimed that Arsenal are open to offers for both Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah in the summer.
If both of them leave, Balogun might get regular game time with the senior squad, and that could well convince him to stay. However, it seems like a long shot at the moment and fans are losing hope.