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Over the years we’ve gotten used to the biggest clubs amassing hundreds of youngsters in the hopes that two or three will become first-team players, but that leaves you with over 90 kids who have wasted some of their formative years.
In fact, it has been refreshing to see many children make the decision to leave the comfort of a good contract at a great club and seek to build their careers elsewhere.
Angel Gomes has retired from Man United and is doing good things in Portugal, where he has probably done enough to make his way into the Lille squad when his loan ends, Jeremie Frimpong is getting rave reviews after trading Man City for Celtic , while Jadon Sancho is the latest example of what can be achieved.
These examples also show you that these players don’t have to come down from multiple divisions to stand a chance – there are numerous big clubs in Europe that will play against a player based on their talent and not just their reputation.
READ MORE: “We just don’t learn” – These Arsenal fans bicker over youngster as he reportedly gets closer to transfer
Arsenal are no strangers to laying themselves on a barrel with a forward’s expiring contract, so it looks like Folarin Balogun is next on that line.
He’s very different to Aubameyang, van Persie and Sanchez because he’s just a prospect, so the immediate loss may not seem all that dramatic, but they’ll kick themselves if he becomes a star elsewhere.
Fabrizio Romano has indicated that up to 15 teams are looking to sign him as a free agent, but it also appears that Arsenal is to blame if he walks:
Balogun has always been willing to stay at Arsenal … but he needs to play. This is the priority for Folarin and his agents.
If he plays more, it will be considered a new contract. Otherwise, Balogun will decide among the 15 clubs that approached him as a free agent. Nothing done / signed yet? #AFC
– Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 7, 2021
It should come as no surprise that a soccer player really wants to play soccer, so it’s easy to sympathize with Balogun here, while he actually showed some glimpses when given the opportunity in the Europa League.
Mikel Arteta was left with the players who let him down week after week and Balogun was still no closer to having a chance in the Premier League, so time will tell if they really made a mistake in handling their situation.