In a recent video for the Football Daily YouTube channel, Dougie Critchley spent some time discussing Arsenal youth player Folarin Balogun and explained why he believes the 19-year-old striker represents ‘a cheap, homegrown gamble for a Championship or lower Premier League side to make’.
Balogun has been linked with a move away from the north London club during the current transfer window after he ‘refused to sign a new contract,’ with his current deal set to expire at the end of June 2021. It has been claimed that Arsenal are ‘demanding at least £8m’ for the academy product.
During the recent YouTube video for Football Daily, Critchley discussed the player and urged “Championship or lower Premier League” teams to consider signing him. He said: “The 19-year-old’s record for the reserves is outstanding.
“After helping the Gunners’ U18s to a title in 2019, he was promoted to the U23s for 2019/20, going on to contribute 14 goals in 15 appearances, despite his age.
“A quick forward who likes to run in behind, he’s been likened to [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang.
“And with his deal at the Emirates expiring in 2021, he’d be a cheap, homegrown gamble for a Championship or lower Premier League side to make.”
Would you be disappointed to see Balogun leave the Gunners?
Balogun is coming off the back of an impressive 2019/20 campaign in which he scored ten goals and provided four assists in 15 Premier League 2 appearances for the Gunners’ U23s, as per Transfermarkt.
Considering his impressive numbers at the U23s level, as well as the fact he is yet to make a senior appearance for the Gunners, it is perhaps understandable why the forward may feel that he is ready to test himself at a higher level and may see his future elsewhere if his current club don’t intend to promote him to the first-team setup.
It is high praise for the player to have “been likened to Aubameyang,” as Critchley stated, considering that Aubameyang ended the 2019/20 season as the Premier League’s joint-second-highest goalscorer.
Hopefully, for Balogun, and any club that may sign the player, he can live up to those high expectations and if he does, then Arsenal’s alleged £8m asking price may prove to be a bargain.