Friday, March 1, 2024

Report: Inter set to return for Balogun

Inter Milan will renew their interest in Folarin Balogun in the coming days, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The Champions League finalists started the summer hoping to sign Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea and have also held talks with West Ham’s Gianluca Scammaca and Atletico Madrid’s Alvaro Morata.

Left frustrated on all three fronts, they are in a bit of a pickle on the striker front with only two weeks until the start of the new Serie A season.

While they like Balogun, they also know he’s going to cost a fair whack – the Gunners want close to £40 million – and that comes as something of a risk given he only has one full season of senior football under his belt.

Balogun hasn’t featured for the Gunners in pre-season since a short cameo against the MLS All-Stars. He’s believed to be carrying a knock that will keep him out of tomorrow’s Community Shield.

In the meantime, he seems to be entertaining himself at home by watching clips of Brazilian legend Ronaldo. He even shared a snippet of the striker playing for Inter via his Instagram Stories; a playful hint at things to come, perhaps.

After selling Auston Trusty to Sheffield United this week, Edu and his team have begun the arduous process of slimming down the first team squad.

Cedric Soares, Nuno Tavares, Alex Runarsson, Arthur Okonkwo, Sambi Lokonga (Burnley), Nicolas Pepe and Marquinhos (Olympiacos / Nantes) are all set to leave in some capacity before the window shuts in a month’s time.

It’s also looking increasingly likely Matt Turner will be sacrificed to make room for David Raya. Nottingham Forest want to sign the American and Brentford seem to be coming around to the idea they may not get £40 million for their Spaniard.

Elsewhere, Ainsley Maitland-Niles is set to sign for Lyon on a free transfer. The England international was released at the end of June and could join forces with Alex Lacazette.

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Funsho Patrick

Flo doesn’t want to be at the Emirates… we’ll need to balance the books at sum point…I’ll rather he left than say Jesus, Martinelli or Saka…..Is Mikel sacrificing Ramsdale on his altar of ‘excellence’? Not sure 30m is money for a back up goalkeeper…not even at PSG..

Arsenalfanthem

He’s there to compete. Clearly Arteta likes Ramsdale and isn’t trying to replace him, but Raya brings the level up.

Ukesox

The stats would suggest that Raya is a better keeper than Ramsdale. He also doesn’t have Ramsdales need to wind up opposition fans which we might like but might well not be appealing to Arteta. Also Raya is a Catalan boy.

Public Elneny

Context is key when it comes to stats, and in my opinion applies to keepers more than any other position. Raya’s higher save % and long ball completion % stats (for example) can be explained by factors more to do with Arsenal’s and Brentford’s tactics and teammates than the keepers’ individual abilities Which isn’t to say Ramsdale doesn’t have weaknesses to improve, I think he’s still quite technically raw compared to other top level keepers (Raya included) – but that he manages to be so effective while being a bit wild in his positioning, stance and footwork is testament to… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

I’m not saying that I totally get the need for a competing GK, but as fans we always talk about “upgrading”.  No disrespect to Matt, but this would be a sizeable squad upgrade.  The cool thing about Ramsdale and Raya is they both clearly have very strong mentalities. This is obvious with Raya as he’s prepared to grasp this uncertain opportunity with both goalkeeper gloves.  And Ramsdale, well, I think the last few days have proved just how strong and committed he truly is.  As Paul from Arsenal Vision would say (which Gunnerblog has embarrassingly tried to pinch) “lez do… Read more »

LGfromNYC

This doesn’t strike me as a balance the books kind of summer, luckily for the fans.

Anders Limpar

I would say that the goal keeping abilities of Raya and Ramsdale are very similar . But Raya is really good with his feet and distribution. I think that is the appeal for MA.

Var will solve the problem

I love the idea of competition. So it excites me. May be it’s not practical to have 2 number 1s but Aaron performed best when he had Leno breathing down his neck and not Turner. I still think Aaron will still be the number one but having Raya (29 year old) as competition will take him to the next level. Goalkeeper is a high pressure position and command of the box, resisting press and passing are better qualities to have then just shot stopping. Ederson is way down the list for short stopping but he only faced 80 shots compared… Read more »

Spanish Gooner

Ramsdale signed a new contract on double his previous wages at the start of this transfer window. He’s not going anywhere.

loose_cannon

Raya for £25-30m would be excellent business.

karl

I’m still not convinced. If I had money floating around, I’d bellowing to shift an unhappy Balogun and putting everything towards a centre forward.

karl

“I’d be looking”

loose_cannon

I’m surprised by the concern over CF, even with Jesus’ injury, given that goal scoring was rarely an issue for us last season. Even in the title run-in, we kept scoring as our defence faltered. If Arteta thinks Raya can help us in this regard, then I think that’s the better investment.

…and really bad eggs

It’s the Haaland effect.

Based off last season, most fans now estimate that to compete well with ManCity you need a 20+ goal striker. Forgetting that the City and Liverpool teams that won the last few league titles didn’t have those, and actually out scored ManCity’s last title winning team in overall goals.

Spanish Gooner

Might be in minority but I think Leandro Trossard is probably the best backup striker in the entire Premier League right now and I don’t have any issue starting the season with him there.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

A lot of fans won’t like it at the start but I reckon Arteta wants Raya as our new #1.

Karl g

I think you’re right, but I can’t help comparing him to Ospina. That is the last time we had a shirt goalkeeper and it didn’t work out well.

loose_cannon

I suspect this as well, Tifo did a good video on Raya and he was statistically better than Ramsdale. His long kicking was also better, which may be a plus for when we look to beat the press. Havertz’ ability in the air may play an important role in that regard too.

Daniel

Thats one problem with just stats. Rayas long ball succes also depends he had Toney to aim at. I like both of them so sort of a win win situation. Whatever happens we will have an excellent keeper in goal.

Ebo

One thing that occurred to me about Raya is that it also might be about preventing him from going to the opposition. If we don’t sign him now he’ll be able to leave on a free next season and one of our rivals like Chelsea or Tottenham or Man U, whichever of those is least satisfied with the keeper they bought this summer, is almost sure to offer him a gazillion bucks and upgrade an important position significantly. If we buy him, even if he ends up unhappy and we have to sell him in one year, at least we… Read more »

Ebo

And if you look at Onana letting in goals from 50 yards this preseason, Chelsea’s recent history of turning talent into sh*t and Tottenham’s longstanding history of just generally being sh*t, then this doesn’t seem unlikely

Saps

Onana is better than Raya and Ramsdale.
Don’t get it twisted.
Getting lobbed from the centre circle doesn’t mean much: Ramsdale got done in Vs Sporting at the Emirates.

Ebo

I think if Arteta thought he was we would’ve gotten him

Pookins

Onana is far and away the 3rd best of the 3

Johnny 4 Hats

They just sold Onana for crazy money after getting him on a free 12 months previous.

They must pay the piper. And also, once they’ve paid him for his piping services, pay us £40m.

Johnny 4 Hats

Also, before you all ask, if this was a franchise sci-fi movie, I’d be calling it :

Flo Wars VI – Return of the Zaghi

Ebo

Milan Impossible: Fol-out

Johnny 4 Hats

Yours is better.

And that hurts.

John

Inter must have plenty of money in the bank for reaching the Champions League final last year as well. We should not allow them to plead poverty.

Saps

£40m for Fola.
Plus a 20% sell-on clause.
If he hits (and I believe he will), they’d sell him back to the premier league for £90m. Minimum.

Adebanjo

With a buy back clause that allows us buy him at the exact price they got him from us.

Doghouse

£40 mil for a striker who’s hardly played for us and was 7 goals short of Lacazettes total last season .. get it done..

Mesut Ö’neill

9 goal Højlund goes for £72m
&
No one wants to bid above £30m for 21 goal Balogun
🤷🏻‍♂️

Anon

More a question of who wants to bid

Ebo

That’s a good point. To be fair Ligue 1 is worse than Seria A and Højlund is younger and taller. But that should justify why they’d be worth about the same despite Balogun being much more prolific, not why he should cost half as much.

Shano

Yea I do wonder sometimes what we do wrong as a club.. a friend was just recently bantering about Pepe. Out of curiosity I just checked up his stats against sancho, Pepe scored and assisted double Sancho goals & assist in first 2 seasons . Trebled Zihech in 3 seasons.. how do saudí not even want him.. was the terminations call a double edged sword or something? Do football clubs actually go off popularity rather than actual data.. for example fabhino and Henderson had great careers no doubt but a 12 yo could see they both fell off a cliff… Read more »

Norwegian Wood

It’s very possible that Saudi clubs are waiting for Pepe to see that his contract is terminated before moving for him, since Arsenal have a history of terminating contract of players that they do not wish to put up with.

Shano

Yea that’s why I was thinking it was a double edged sword.. but look on a positive note if we waited around and didn’t go full steam ahead we wouldn’t of built the highest value squad in Europe. Also average age of 24/25.. I think we are sweat for next few years..

Onenil

Sweet I hope?
Sauna or Nothing.

Wilshirasaurus

He doesn’t look like Haaland… Funny how a player gets such premium because they look like another player

Huck

I think we sell for £20mil with the sell on value we take 66% and a buy back at £20mil.

Anon

Do they have money this time?

Nainsley Aitland Miles

They’ve spent €27.5m and received €108.25m so they’re sitting on a profit of €80.75.

Onenil

That’s the price then

Nainsley Aitland Miles

For €80.75m they can have Balogun, Pepe, Cedric, Lokonga, Tavares, and Runarsson.

TeeCee

So negotiations over all their first choice targets have gone pear-shaped and they’re desperate then?
That would suggest that we have them by the happy sacks and £50m sounds quite close to £40m to me.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Seems odd to me because they already have Martinez, Correa, and just signed Thuram.

Arsemouth

Inter comes back and offers a pack of brie along with their first offer of a pound of gorgonzola.

karl

With players like Lavia and Hojland going for £50m and above, I really hope Arsenal stick with the valuation. It is important, not just for Balogun, but also future sales.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Don’t sign Raya.
Use the money on a striker.
It’s so massively obvious that’s where our single point of failure is. We got kind of lucky that Eddie did pretty well last time when GJ was out but we absolutely cannot rely on him to keep us in a title race or even one for the top 4.

Goodly Morning

I see your point but I think Havertz as a false nine gives options as well as Trossard. I guess they are balancing this with the desire to compete across four trophies which seem to require GK rotation. Plus, the current tacticsl system 100% requires a keeper with superb technical ability. I respect Tur er for his attempts to improve and he even mentioned how goalkeeping has evolved in his career. But.. If Ramsdale got injured maybe they feel Turner hasn’t got that element to his game for a long stint in goal.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

The Manager doesn’t agree with you. If he thinks Ramsdale needs competition to best develop as a player, then that’s good enough, he’s earned the leeway in how to spend the clubs money.

Jon

Inter only offering €35 euros, can ask them to f*** off.

Doghouse

Balagon it appears to be a stick or twist situation, seems to be everyone wants rid of him thinking it would be a good bit of business to get as much money as his stock went up through the goals he scored in the French ligue 1 and we tied him down on a 4 year contract last year, i get the disrespectful remarks its only coz he done it in the French league and Lacca scored 6 more but Balagon was playing for a mid table side at best, goalscorers are hard to come by and come at a… Read more »

I miss santi cazorla

Bring in Vhalhovich

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Hahaha.

Spanish Gooner

It’s crazy just how used to massive fees we’ve become in recent years. If we do get £40m for Balogun it would be Inter’s second biggest signing ever, after Lukaku. It would be a historic amount from a true European giant, yet somehow it doesn’t even register as a “big fee” nowadays.

Tony

I was hoping we didn’t have to waste one more season for Arteta to understand that in order to compete we need a world class striker. Just see what Guardiola did. Jesus is great but certainly not world class or else Guardiola wouldn’t have sold him, and Nketiah seems unlikely to develop into world class. Will Balogun develop into a world class striker? I don’t know, but I would surely prefer to give him a solid chance than having to splash 100mil on a striker next summer. Unfortunately, Arteta obviously doesn’t like him and he is stubborn like that so… Read more »

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