Liverpool have been handed a major boost in pursuit of Folarin Balogun, with Mikel Arteta reportedly set to sanction a clear-out, which includes the 19-year-old.
According to a report by Daily Mirror, Mikel Arteta has deemed as many as eight players to be surplus to requirements at Arsenal, and the list surprisingly includes Folarin Balogun. Liverpool have, therefore, been handed a boost in the race to sign the 19-year-old on a free transfer in the summer transfer window.
Folarin Balogun joined Arsenal as a 10-year-old back in 2011 and has since made quite a brilliant impression in the club’s academy. Now a regular in the Gunners’ under-23 side, Balogun is widely regarded as one of the finest young forwards in the country, and has been touted for a bright future.
However, he has been left frustrated by a lack of a clear pathway to the first-team setup, with the likes of Alexandre Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Martinelli and Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has previously heaped praise on the teenager, all ahead of him in the pecking order. As a result, clubs like Liverpool have been licking their chops over a possible move.
The teenage prodigy, who has already opened his account for Arsenal, with 2 goals and an assist in just 74 minutes of first-team action, is in the final year of his current deal with the club. Amid his uncertain future, Brentford and Sheffield United have previously made enquiries to sign him, with Liverpool now scouring the possibility of landing him.
At Liverpool, Balogun could well slot into the first-team setup straightaway, with Divock Origi’s future at Anfield being up in the air. In addition, with Xherdan Shaqiri widely expected to leave as well, Balogun could be primed for more opportunities with the Reds, owing to Jurgen Klopp’s policy to ease youngsters in via cup competitions.
As a result, the interest from Liverpool does make sense. And, it now looks like the Premier League champions could be one step closer to securing the services of the 19-year-old Arsenal prospect, with Mikel Arteta set to sanction a clear-out of eight players, including Balogun.
With the teenager unlikely to pen a renewal, despite Arsenal opening talks over a new contract, Liverpool would be able to sign him on a free transfer, thereby making it a potential coup. What now remains to be seen is if the Reds can indeed land him or if a foreign club quickly swoops in and agrees a pre-contract to leave Liverpool high and dry.