A permanent move for American striker Folarin Balogun from Arsenal to Monaco has been approved as of this afternoon.
No figure for the move was given, but reports from Fabrizio Romano say that the deal with be in excess of $43million (€40m).
Folarin made his senior debut for us when he came on as a substitute in our 3-0 home win against Dundalk in the UEFA Europa League in October 2020. It was the same competition which saw Balogun score his first senior goal for the club, just under a month later in a 3-0 away win in Norway against Molde.
In January 2022, Balogun joined Championship side Middlesbrough on loan for the second half of the 2021/22 campaign, which provided an opportunity to gain valuable experience. Folarin made 18 appearances, scoring three goals during his time at the Riverside Stadium.
A further loan spell was enjoyed last season, with Balogun joining Ligue 1 side Reims. It was a campaign which showcased Folarin’s talents. He finished joint fourth in the French league’s goalscoring charts with 21 strikes from his 37 appearances.
Folarin finished his positive season in France, travelling Stateside when he declared his choice to play for the US men’s national team in May 2023. He was called up to represent his country of birth in the 2023 CONCACAF Nations League, where he made his debut in the semi-final and went on to score in the final to clinch silverware for the USA as they beat Mexico 2-0.
Monaco announced the decision on Wednesday, but did so with a video that confused many Americans and Monagasque fans alike.
The video was themed to a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in Las Vegas (?) that appears to lack any significant connection to Balogun himself.
Balogun was born in New York City and was raised in London – neither place is closely associated with NASCAR.