AC Milan are said to have included Folarin Balogun on their list of potential acquisitions, although they believe that securing the Arsenal player’s services may prove to be an extremely challenging task.
AC Milan’s Transfer Plans
As the Rossoneri prepare to relinquish their hold on the Serie A title, with Napoli dominating the 2022-23 season, they are developing recruitment strategies for the upcoming transfer window. It is said that a new striker is high on their priority list. At present, Milan have veteran forwards Olivier Giroud and Zlatan Ibrahimovic on their roster. However, there is a need to rejuvenate their lineup with younger and more long-term options. According to Calciomercato, Arsenal-owned USMNT target Folarin Balogun fits the bill at San Siro.
The High Price for Balogun
The 21-year-old Balogun is estimated to be worth around €30 million (£27m/$33m). Milan, however, does not anticipate being successful in any transfer competition for him. As a result, they are also monitoring players such as Argentine-born Tigre loanee Mateo Regegui, who recently scored his first goal for Italy, Victor Boniface of Union SG, Red Bull Salzburg’s Noah Okafor, and experienced Lyon striker Moussa Dembele.
Balogun’s Rising Stock
Balogun’s value has risen significantly this season, scoring 18 goals during a fruitful loan stint at Ligue 1 side Reims. He now faces crucial decisions regarding his club and national team future, as England and the United States are engaged in a battle for his international allegiance.
Folarin Balogun’s Early Beginnings
Folarin Balogun, born on July 3, 2001, in New York City, was once an emerging talent in the world of football. As a youngster, he moved to London, England, where he joined Arsenal’s prestigious youth academy. Balogun’s goal-scoring prowess became evident as he progressed through the ranks, consistently finding the back of the net.
Rising Through the Arsenal Ranks
Balogun’s performances for the Gunners’ youth sides were noteworthy, as he consistently demonstrated his scoring ability and potential to become a future star. In the 2018-19 season, he scored an impressive 25 goals in 19 appearances for Arsenal’s U18 team. This exceptional performance caught the attention of the club’s senior management, leading to his promotion to the U23 team.
Making an Impact at the U23 Level
During the 2019-20 season, Balogun shone brightly for Arsenal’s U23 side. He scored ten goals and provided four assists in 15 appearances in the Premier League 2 competition. His performances were instrumental in helping the team secure a respectable fifth-place finish. The young striker’s impressive displays earned him a call-up to the first team, where he made his debut in the EFL Trophy against Peterborough United.
First-Team Opportunities and Loan Move
Balogun made his senior team debut for Arsenal during the 2020-21 season, featuring in the UEFA Europa League. He made an immediate impact, scoring two goals and providing an assist in just five appearances. Despite his promising performances, first-team opportunities were limited at the club, leading to a loan move to Ligue 1 side Reims in the 2021-22 season.
Flourishing in Ligue 1
At Reims, Balogun showcased his goal-scoring prowess, finishing the season with 18 goals. His impressive performances helped the French side secure a comfortable mid-table finish in Ligue 1. His exploits in France attracted interest from top clubs across Europe, who began monitoring his progress closely.
Balogun’s performances did not go unnoticed on the international stage. Born in the United States and raised in England, the young striker found himself at the center of an international tug-of-war between the two countries. Both the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) and the England national team were eager to secure his allegiance.
The Road Ahead
Folarin Balogun’s journey to prominence was marked by impressive performances at various levels, from Arsenal’s youth academy to his loan spell at Reims. The young striker proved his worth time and again, showcasing his ability to find the back of the net consistently. His future was filled with promise, as he continued to attract interest from top clubs and national teams alike.