Saturday, March 2, 2024

Sheffield United confirm approach for Balogun

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has confirmed that the Blades have enquired after Arsenal youngster Folarin Balogun.

The 19-year-old striker is in the final year of his contract at the Emirates and is likely to be sold in the coming weeks if it’s clear he won’t commit to a renewal.

Yesterday, it was claimed that the Gunners had rebuffed an offer worth £3 million plus add-ons from the Bramall Lane outfit. Eager to raise funds to strengthen other parts of the squad, it was suggested we quoted five times that amount.

Asked if an approach to Balogun had been made, Wilder, facing the press ahead of his side’s Carabao cup clash with Burnley, said: “Yeah, we made an enquiry regarding the young man at Arsenal. That’s left with the CEO at our club and at Arsenal.

“I wanted to affect different areas and felt we have done. I wanted to bring young players in, which we have done. The last one that we have talked about at the top of the pitch we want attributes that suit us and hopefully move us forward.”

Balogun – prolific for Arsenal at both under-18 and under-23 level – has previously been linked with Brentford, Southampton, Brighton and AC Milan.

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Always sad to see academy players leave. On the bright side though it will bring some (unplanned) money into the bank. Lots of competion upfront currently anyway. And who knows, we might be able to slip some sort of rebuy or sell-on clause into the deal.

Johnny 4 Hats

I’m really not sure I get Balogun’s logic here. Going up north to play for a lower stature club may not advance his career in any way.

Why not sign da ting, have a few loan spells and wait until Laca and Auba are over the hill? It seems crazy to go and play somewhere where he is still not guaranteed game time and who will not have as many tournaments to blood him in.

Strange one. I hope he rethinks.

Vaibhav Pandey

Well said, in fact re-sign for Arsenal and go to Bramall lane on loan 😀

Johnny 4 Hats

Thing is, I don’t think he’s actually progressed far enough to go to Sheff Utd and get a game. They’ve got four pretty solid strikers right now. What Flo (people probably call him that) needs now at 19 years of age is a run in a league one or lowly championship side. I know that players need to back themselves and believe they are going to make it regardless but at his age, leaving a club like Arsenal which historically has a great record with youngsters and going a side like Sheff Utd which, let’s be honest, could be back… Read more »

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

There is already Nketiah. The manager will not bring another youngster to put more pressure on Eddie. He will bring another young player if he thinks Eddie will not develop as expected.

Johnny 4 Hats

Yeah, we don’t want to put any pressure on our young players so we’d better sell any promising potential rivals…


Wouldn’t it be “Fol”?

Johnny 4 Hats

Yep, some people call him that. I think Ceballos calls him that but Holding prefers Flo. Auba calls him Florence Ballon d’Or and Leno calls him “little cannon” but in German. Papa calls him “David Braithwaite”. No one is sure why but everyone’s too scared to ask.

A Different George

I bet Kolasinac is not afraid to ask.


I don’t think he’s thinking like that. I suspect he wants to play and (hopefully) develop further at one club – not loaned out on a merry-go-round waiting for a chance with us that may, or may not, come. There have been several examples of that with young Arsenal players and most of them didn’t return and were sold off, often to the detriment of Arsenal later on. If Arsenal really want to keep him they should make an appropriate offer. If not, he goes. I did read that we were supposed to be asking £15 million, which doesn’t really… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

I don’t think “often to the detriment”. In general we are pretty consistent and knowing who is good enough for Arsenal and who isn’t. There’s a few players like the Jeff and Bennacer who could theoretically be good enough for us that we lost. And then there’s obviously Gnabry. But apart from that we’ve usually done the best for our youth prospects and got rid when the time was right. If you’ve got to Arsenal and think you need to go elsewhere then good luck to you. But Arsenal has developed some incredible players and when you can be taken… Read more »


Well, I don’t think our record of those youngsters actually released/sold is good. Selling a few for small sums is fine, but it’s outweighed – financially – by those that we let go and have proved to be successful, or very successful. Anyway, regardless of that the ball is in our court with Balogun and we’ll see what happens. If he goes, it’s down to Arsenal either for not offering him “acceptable” terms (for him). And there’s the question of how we got to the last year of his contract for a player with obvious “potential” – surely something that… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

Yeah, I get your point. At the moment though, apart from banging in goals at youth level, he hasn’t done anything to make us give him an exceptional deal. We’ve had a lot of young players do that who never made it through the ranks. And we don’t want to end up in a situation like Chelsea where they give Hudson Odoi a massive contract and then have second guesses about his talent. We are a huge club and it’s not our job to offer young players exactly what they want. On the contrary, they need to prove to us… Read more »

Bendtner’s ego

Name one academy prospect we let go and went on to be successful or very successful BESIDES Gnabry.

Gnarbry was a special circumstance because he grew up supporting Bayern and there were rumors they were behind the original Werder Bremen deal.

The only other recent academy kids that did not break into the first team who have gone on to do things that come to mind are Isaac Hayden, Afobe, and maybe Kyle Bartley. That’s the level we are talking about. No real wonder kids.

Bendtner’s ego

Oh, and Henri Lansbury.

Always liked him and glad he was able to have a decent career.


Does that say more about our academy then? As we have not produced much into the first team bar the last year or so

Dave cee

Donyell Mallen is a Dutch international


Harry Kane?

A Different George

I don’t know of any young players we sold who have proven they would have started for us, other than Gnabry–who no one wanted to sell, but was determined to go. I guess the verdict’s still out on Reine-Adelaide’s career, but I can’t think of anyone else in a decade who we are confident would have been even a regular squad player.

Bendtner’s ego

I did a dig through Transfermarkt:

Interestingly, they do not list Robson-Kanu or “mumbles” from down the road, but about the only one on that list who didn’t break through to first team and went on to do things (besides Gnarbry) was Andy Cole.


I think Kane could have done better than Bendtner???

Once a gunner

I don’t see any sence in the price arsenal is holding on on him, if we actually know how to sell players then Martinez shouldn’t have gone for 16m and we want to sell a player that as not proven himself in big stage as the amount we sold exsterblish players. My opinion let the young lad renew his contract loaned to a club for two years like Odegard he will come back better and then he will have a clear future

Pepe The Frog

Solanki was sold for 19m and he’d done fuckall on the big stage at that point. So I don’t see why we should settle for a measly amount. As for renewing hai contract, I’m on the same boat but I believe he hasn’t shown interest in signing one because he hasn’t got any assurances about playing time.

Teryima Adi

Johnny 4 Hats, Balogun has a great adviser in you but he doesn’t know it yet.

Johnny 4 Hats

Drat, my cover is blown. I’m just doing all this so Sheff Utd will throw in an extra weekly meat pie to sweeten the contract talks…

At the moment the contract is for three years and if it doesn’t work out Sheff Utd have offered the lad an apprenticeship with a local sparky and a six month lease on a recently renovated two bed in nearby Doncaster.

Johnny 4 Hats

Can anyone tell I’ve got the day off today?

Anders Limpar

I just assumed you where on a heady mixture of amphetamines and liquorice sherbet fountains…


Don’t quite get how a meat pie would sweeten the talks. Wouldn’t it need to be an apple crumble?

Jakob Holm

Just to clarify: why don’t we extend – or why does he not want to extend? I don’t watch the youth teams but sounds like Jeorge Bird likes him a lot. And he should have opportunities in the coming years – or am I missing something?


Let’s tie him up and loan him out please.
This kid seems to bag goals for fun at the lower levels.

Convince him Mikel.
If Auba can…


You’d imagine he’s in the final year for some reason. Doesn’t want to stay


Yeah, he’s in the final year because he’s seen Unai work his magic for the most part.

I know he’s got Eddie and Martinelli ahead of him, but we have several games and if he can bag a few in the League cup, you never know…just saying


He apparently wants leave b/c he hasn’t been given an opportunity to break into the senior squad at a time when young players who can play are beating out veterans & we’re building the front line for hopefully the next decade. Eddie already was starting over Laca for a period last year under Arteta so I can see why Balogun is frustrated/wants to leave.


I am not sure Eddie is the future either. He is young still but misses a fair few chances, unlike Martinelli who is lethal. Balogun might still prove to be an option if he is so prolific.


Who knows. I can understand Baloun’s likely view though of seeing younger players or players he came up with getting significant minutes while he’s still stuck at the U23s despite being very prolific. There appears to be quite a bit of interest in him so I understand his view that if Arsenal won’t give him the opportunities he’ll go to somewhere that will. Laca isn’t particularly lethal either – his value primarily is in his hold up and link up play. Just for a guide he scores at a slightly lower rate than Giroud did when he was here. Eddie… Read more »


They’ve a lot of faith in Eddie, so I guess he looks great on the training ground. I’m hoping he’ll come good, but we’ve not quite seen it when it matters yet. Martinelli however seems to just have it.

I’m wondering about the fact some players need to ‘develop’ until they’re 22/23, while others seem the finished article at 19. I can think of so many that just never kicked on – Wilshere, Walcott even you could say. Maybe where a kid is at at 19 is a pretty good indication?


I think they put you in prison for that …

Man Manny

I can’t see any other option but to cash in. The price has to be good though. Nothing short of £10M + a buy back clause should move the needle in their favour.
Nketiah and Martinelli will provide adequate backup; we won’t miss him in the short run.


Show us the money C*ntos


3 million is the Loan fee , Balougun should extend with us.

A Voice in the Noise

With Greenwood and John-Jules out, I really don’t get why Balogun won’t wanna stay at the club. He’ll get more than enough chances at U-23 level, will most likely train with the first team at throughout the season and could even make the starting XI / Bench in the early stages of cup competitions and EL group stage.
Really hope we tie him down to a new contract – he’s been bangin’ them in for us at every level so far and I wanna see him make it at Arsenal, not Sheffield Utd. or any other club!


Then surely it’s down to Arsenal to make him an offer he can’t refuse (as they say), isn’t it? The fact that there’s been contact and no outright rejection of Utd as far as I can see means that something could well happen – unless Arsenal acts.


Include him in a deal for Eduardo up at Celtic.
Loan Eduardo back to Celtic and have ready made replacement for laca next year that or sell laca as well but I do think Auba and laca for another year is as strong as we can get.

Give youth a chance

Balogun is a massive talent and someone I’d love us to keep hold of. Questions need to be asked about how he was allowed to enter the final year of his contract in this way.

Diaby's Left Peg

I think similarly with Saka there is a cap on how many years an 18 year old can sign a contract for.

And you can’t force a guy who thinks he’s good enough to play to sign a new deal and sit behind Auba and Laca. Then he’ll see Martinelli and Eddie in front of him too.

Probably reckons at Sheff Utd they’d be more invested in giving him minutes if he’s their player to develop and profit off than bouncing around different managers, clubs and systems for a few years.

Crash Fistfight

Isn’t it because they’re only allowed to sign a 2 year deal when they sign their first deal? I’m sure someone said that about Saka.


Well, that’s a good point. I thought those largely Wenger-era blunders had now been put behind us. It seems not. Contract re-negotiation is an often underestimated, but vital, area. The high profile examples, Auba etc., get publicity but lower down the structure it’s very different.


Which just goes to prove that those ‘Wenger-Era’ blunders aren’t the exclusive monopoly of Arsene Wenger. Although to listen to guys like John C, you’d have thought Wenger invented poor transfers negotiations. That was never Wenger’s forte anyway. He was a coach, not a businessman – in spite of having a degree in Economics. Our best transfers of the Wenger era were always put together by David Dein – until the club killed the golden goose and shot itself in the foot, in April 2007, by refusing a takeover from Red and White Holdings (Usmanov) that would have pumped hundreds… Read more »

Hail Gus!

Was interesting to watch his body language after scoring winner recently against Ipswich. No celebration just walked back.

Red Fred

Not having a dig at our absent German but 3m would only pay ozils wages till Christmas, it’s nothing in the grand scale of things.
We Need to sign him. Our manager needs to work his magic on him.

On the other hand his face might not Fit with the boss and we need to geundouzi him.


He’ll be gone soon – and it will be the best thing for him, but not necessarily us. As I have said many times – like it or not – at the time of writing Mesut Ozil is still this club’s best attacking midfielder and that includes Willian.


As an American – I’d been keen to see him choose USMNT for country as we are lacking in quality strikers. Having said that – I’m sure he’s keen to earn a spot with England down the road which to be fair, is a much tougher road to crack into. This may be affecting his push however to get out and want first-team football at club level to enhance his stature while trying to decide what country to finally choose.

Teryima Adi

The Arsenal conveyor belt looks promising.


Shame he doesn’t want to ply his trade in red and white, but you can’t make somebody stay who doesn’t want to. We’re clearly heading in the right direction finally as a club, and if people don’t want to be a part of that, that is their choice. The onus is just on management to get the best price for him that they can.


I’ve never seen this guy play but I’d like to form a very strong opinion on whether we should sell him or not. It’s pretty difficult to do this when he doesn’t even have a wikipedia page yet. Can someone get to work on that?

Paul Roberts

I am not in favour of selling a gunner player that has “gun” is his name. Think of the songs we will miss out on?? 🙂


Not wishing to sound like Biggles here, but I think that’s the least of our worries. ?

Funny you mentioned that. I used to play this game called of Age of Empires and discovered that “Balogun” roughly translates to “War Chief” in English.


I think we are going to hold out for 5-6m. every bit extra counts for us. Decent player should not sell for too low either. But we are quite crowded as is in first team. Saka is set for LW. Nketiah will have to prove his worth first half of season if not Martinelli will be back in as well second half. Nelson is a worry somewhat with Willian in and Pepe. Likely he may get a shout if Willian is also covering inside RM or maybe they may send him on (Hopefully Strong) loan on account of his age… Read more »

Dave cee

Personally I’d like to see this guy sign a 2 year extension and give it a shot at breaking into the 1st team picture this season. So many games potentially, in a very short season, there are opportunities there if he is good enough. John-Jules is gone for the season, Martinelli is out until the New Year and will need some time to get back to his level. Auba is playing from the left. So really only one of Laca or Eddie to force his way past to be in the frame, and that’s without any 1st team injuries. Plus… Read more »


I wouldn’t be too worried about him, we’ve got a whole season to try and make him sign – If he’s trying to see out his contract then we’ll get probably the same money we would’ve gotten from Sheffield (since there will be a tribunal, similar to Danny Ings transfer at the time). And if he’ll sign a new contract then we’re golden.
There’s really no need to rush.


Can’t we just give this kid a few games in the premiership this season and see how he kicks on?


Buyback clause!

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