Arsenal at high risk of losing another star after rejecting new contract deal

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Arsenal are reportedly set to lose highly-rated academy striker Folarin Balogun this summer after failing to agree a new deal.

According to The Athletic, Balogun, 18, is set to depart the Emirates after the club could not agree an extension of his deal, which expires in 2021.

The teenager, who has been likened to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and has an impressive goalscoring record for Arsenal ’s youth teams, was the subject of a rejected £5million Brentford bid in January.

He was earmarked for a progression into Mikel Arteta ’s first-team but has now decided his future lies elsewhere leaving Arsenal willing to do business rather than losing him for free next year.

And with top European clubs registering an interest, they risk seeing a repeat of unwanted recent history of academy graduates excelling elsewhere.

Serge Gnabry has developed into a world class performer with Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga and recently picked up another title winners’ medal.

Ismael Bennacer has also attracted interest from top clubs having found his best form away from Arsenal after joining AC Milan.

Arsenal will look to insert sell-on clauses as a form of insurance if they sell Balogun this summer.

But they will no doubt be disappointed to lose the striker and anxiously watching on to see if he can fulfil the potential he has developed at the Emirates.

Describing his style of play last year, Balogun told Arsenal’s website: “I am the sort of striker that likes to play on the shoulder of the last defender and make runs behind them, similar to the way that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang plays.

 “I’ve trained a few times with the first team and I feel that I’ve benefitted from being involved with them, especially when playing against experienced defenders which forces you to find different ways of getting in on goal as what works at lower levels does not always work against them.

“I do a lot of work in training trying to improve and develop different ways of finishing so that when the chance comes, I’m ready to use whichever option is best.

“It also helps to keep defenders guessing. As the standard of the teams in which you play rises, you get less and less time and fewer opportunities on the ball. This is what drives me to be as efficient as possible in front of goal.”

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