Folarin Balogun has admitted it was an ‘easy decision’ for him to leave Arsenal for Monaco this summer.
After a sensational loan spell with Stade Reims, which yielded 21 goals in 37 Ligue 1 appearances, Balogun returned to Arsenal keen to continue his momentum as a starting striker – a role which was not on offer at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal listened to offers for Balogun from the likes of Inter and Chelsea, who both refused to meet the Gunners’ asking price, before a deal was struck to send the 22-year-old to Monaco.
“In the end when Monaco were interested it was, really, an easy decision for me,” he told Offside With Taylor Twellman.
“I told my agent: ‘This is the only place I wanted to go’. And luckily for me, he made it happen. I feel like, for me, it was important to obviously go to a side that’s competing to win stuff.
“They’re a really big team in the French league. And at the same time I want to play games. I want to be able to prove myself, and prove to people around that I’m capable of playing and being the main striker for a team.”
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While Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was initially keen to keep Balogun, he recently confessed that there simply was not space in the squad to keep the United States international happy.
“We didn’t have space for him in the squad to give him the minutes that he needs,” the boss told a press conference.
“He was doing well last year in his loan period. He’s evolving the right way and wanted the chance to continue developing his career. He’s going to a really good club that has huge experience of developing talent, as everybody knows. So I’m really happy for him as well.”
Balogun endured a difficult debut for Monaco before the international break. Given 16 minutes off the bench in a 3-0 win over Lens, the striker was booked for diving almost immediately and missed a great chance to open his account for his new side.
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