One contract situation might have been sorted this week at Arsenal but Folarin Balogun’s future is still very much in the air at the moment.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang extended his stay at the Gunners yesterday but for the under-23 striker the wait goes on.
Balogun’s seeming unwillingness to sign an extension at Arsenal (Football London) could open the door for Tyreece John-Jules in the long run.
Doncaster have taken the youngster on loan for the season and as opportunity knocks for him, Balogun continues to try and forge a chance through the under-23 route.
Balogun, 19, has this week been the subject of a £3 million bid from Sheffield United which has been rejected by the Gunners.
They hope to get £15 million for the academy prospect but given he’s never made a first-team appearance, that does look ambitious.
An article by Football London has claimed that Arsenal do think John-Jules is capable of making the first-team eventually at the Emirates Stadium.
No such reports have suggested anything remotely similar with regards to Balogun and that could be down to his contract stance.
It’s fair to say that the New York-born talisman has a decent record for the club’s academy ranks.
He has 38 goals in 41 appearances for the under-18s and 13 goals in 31 games for the under-23 ranks.
It doesn’t seem as though Balogun is convinced that the pathway towards the first-team is a clear one, however, and that stance should favour John-Jules.
If the Londoner can get some game time under his bet and perhaps more crucially some goals, he could find himself propelled into Arteta’s plans ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
For Balogun, the message seems clear. Don’t sign a deal, don’t play for the first-team. There is significant quality in the striker but if he doesn’t sign a new contract, there’s every chance the Gunners will cash in on their academy prospect.