‘It was out of my hands’ – Folarin Balogun speaks out on Arsenal exit and Mikel Arteta relationship
Posted by  badge Boss on Oct 13, 2023 - 09:53PM
Folarin Balogun moved to Monaco over the summer (Photo: Getty)

has suggested that the decision to leave was not entirely down to himself or .

The young striker’s future was the subject of much speculation over the summer following a terrific campaign on loan at Reims, where he scored 21 goals in 37 Ligue 1 appearances.

But despite this form, it became apparent that he couldn’t be guaranteed first-team football at the Emirates and as such he was linked with a move away, with , West Ham and Inter Milan among many clubs keen to sign him.

Eventually, in a deal worth €40million (£34.4m), and he has made a fine start for his new club, with three goals in his first five games.

Balogun has now opened up about the transfer saga, telling : ‘It wasn’t something that made me feel anxious, it was just more a case of seeing what wanted to be done.

‘It was out of my hands, that’s how I felt. It wasn’t something I could control.

‘The only thing I could do was just turn up to train and work hard. So I did that. And then after training, I enjoyed being back in London. I saw my friends, caught up with my family.’

Balogun featured for Arsenal during pre-season (Photo: Getty)

Though a talented player, Arsenal already have Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah as their strikers, and needed to raise funds to offset their over £200m summer spending spree, so it is understandable why they chose to cash-in on Balogun.

Upon his departure, , saying: ‘We didn’t have space for him now in the squad to give him the minutes that he needs.

But the USA international has also revealed what Arteta told him upon his return from Reims, and it suggests that his sale was also not entirely down to the manager.

‘He didn’t really say much, when I came back he just said well done, and he encouraged me to keep going,’ Balogun added.

‘Then me coming back in a pre-season, it was just more about me seeing whether I fit into his plans and seeing if I can continue to play some games.

‘He said that he would try to get me involved as best as he could, but of course he also told me that the people higher up were making decisions on me and seeing what would be best for me. So the conversations between me and him were good, but it was more about the club, what they wanted to do.’

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