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Folarin Balogun seals move to AS Monaco

The 22-year-old will arrive on France’s south coast itching to get back to leading the line in the wake of hitting 21 goals in 37 Ligue 1 appearances last season for Stade de Reims

United States international striker Folarin Balogun has officially returned to France in the closing days of the summer transfer window after officially completing his move to AS Monaco, calling time on his fifteen years at Premier League giants Arsenal.

The 22-year-old will arrive on France’s south coast itching to get back to leading the line in the wake of hitting 21 goals in 37 Ligue 1 appearances last season for Stade de Reims after it became clear that first-choice minutes would not be guaranteed moving forward under Gunners boss Mikel Arteta.

Per The Athletic’s Art de Roché, Arsenal officially receives the €40m (£34m) broken up as £25.5m upfront and a maximum of ~£8.5m in add-on bonuses, all of which should be achievable. Additionally, the Gunners retain a 17.5% sell-on clause across a deal that should go down as Monaco’s record purchase should the add-ons be met, while Balogun’s sale comes in as Arsenal’s record sale.

Despite many Arsenal fans wanting the club to retain Balogun’s services for the long-term as a player many viewed as capable of eventually outstripping both Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah for first-choice minutes at the Etihad, Arsenal’s hand was forced due to the insistence of the player that he wanted to improve on his loan spell as soon as possible and seek key minutes as a number one option at center-forward.

Arsenal issued a formal statement on the club’s official site bidding farewell to Balogun in a deal that should be viewed as a Hale End success story given the pure profit the club has received for a player who did not have an immediate future in the senior setup in north London.

Balogun’s first chance to start for Monaco comes on Saturday when the Monégasques take on RC Lens at Stade Louis-II.

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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