Arsenal chief Edu has a lot to answer for with Folarin Balogun close to damning exit
Arsenal: Folarin Balogun reacts to making his debut for the club
Arsenal technical director Edu has some serious questions to answer if Folarin Balogun ends up leaving the club. Reports today claim Balogun is close to signing a pre-contract agreement with a foreign side. He is free to do so, of course, because his Gunners deal expires at the end of the season.
But Arsenal are potentially allowing their long-term replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to leave the club.
Balogun has been at Arsenal since the age of eight and has been a prolific goalscorer for both the under-18 and under-23 sides.
He has already shown his capabilities in the first team, scoring two goals as a substitute in the Europa League this season.
But it appears his lack of opportunities – he is yet to make a start or appear in the Premier League – will see him quit his boyhood club.
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And the news could cause uproar among some Arsenal supporters, especially those who keep a close eye on the youth teams.
Balogun appears to be a natural goalscorer and looks to have more potential than Eddie Nketiah, who has just one goal in 12 league appearances this season.
Many Arsenal fans would rather see Nketiah leave the club than Balogun.
But, according to The Athletic, Balogun is close to committing his future to an unnamed team in Europe.
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This is another blot on the copybook of Edu, who has been criticised by some supporters since he rejoined the club in his current role in the summer of 2019.
The Brazilian’s acquisition, and subsequent defence, of Willian on a three-year deal looks to be a bad piece of business to say the least.
Willian is yet to score for Arsenal and his performances have left a lot to be desired for.
But not convincing Balogun to stay will be the worst moment of Edu’s tenure so far.
Speaking at his press conference on Thursday, Mikel Arteta suggested there was an issue finding an agreement with the striker’s agent.
Arteta said: “You need three parties to make a deal. For sure, the club wants to make a deal, the manager wants to make a deal, the player wants to stay and I’m not sure about the agent.”
“No, I’m not saying [the agent is] stopping [the deal]. I’m saying that we need to find an agreement with him. We are negotiating with an agent, with a player that wants to stay at the club and we need to find an agreement.
“I’m telling you that we are doing everything we can to keep him here and hopefully from the other part they are doing the same and they defend the same interests, which is the players’ interest, which is to stay at the football club and be successful with us.”
But despite Arteta’s desire being clear, it is looking increasingly likely that the player’s future is away from the Emirates.
And Edu must be questioned for allowing that to happen.
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