Arsenal will make money on Folarin Balogun even if he quits for RB Leipzig or any other club on a “free”, according to Kieran Maguire.
The author, finance expert and new Football Insider columnist made his comments exclusively to correspondent Adam Williams after this website revealed last week that Balogun has agreed a pre-contract in principle with the German club.
The 19-year-old striker has been with Arsenal for 12 years and fans have reacted angrily to the prospect of him being allowed to leave on a free transfer having invested so much time and money into his development.
But Maguire does not believe that the situation is as dire as it is being made out to be — Arsenal will still profit from his decision to quit the Emirates, after all.
He told Football Insider: “They had the opportunity to play him more in the first-team and that didn’t materialise. Players now see Germany as a development route and are therefore willing to go there.
“Arsenal will be entitled to some compensation under UEFA rules. So they will get some money back. It won’t hit them too hard. They will have made money overall, I suspect.
“There are set fees for UEFA for any player that’s under 23. It could be that Arsenal will get the money if Balogun is sold by RB Leipzig to another club.
“It’s always a risk with academy development. You’re planning for gold all the time and sometimes you get a bit of gold and it disappears. It’s just one of those frustrating things.
“If the manager’s not willing to pay him on a regular basis, then have Arsenal really lost anything?”
Balogun has made five senior appearances for Arsenal this season, scoring one goal against Molde in the Europa League group stage in November.
Although born in New York to Nigerian parents, Balogun has lived in England since he was two years old and in October 2020 made his England Under-20 debut.