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Report: Arsenal give up on keeping Liverpool target Folarin Balogun

Arsenal won’t try and keep Folarin Balogun beyond this season, according to reports. That hands an advantage to Liverpool.

This comes from the Independent, who name Balogun as one of several players Arsenal will let go. The 19-year-old is out of contract in the summer.

And in truth, it looked unlikely that he’d renew. The Athletic recently claimed that Liverpool hoped to take advantage of that situation.

There is a problem, though, as always. Balogun could prefer a move to Germany, presumably for first-team football.

Liverpool can’t formally negotiate with him until June as a domestic team. German sides have been able to since January 1st, however.

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But the fact that Arsenal have conceded that he’s off is undoubtedly a plus, here. That Athletic report – from just two weeks ago – mentions that the Gunners were still negotiating with Balogun.

That suggests they very much hoped to keep him. Instead, they’ve given up on the idea.

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We can’t pretend to know too much about Balogun, a 19-year-old with little first-team experience. But from what we have seen, there’s clearly promise there.

Liverpool appear to see that, certainly. The hope, then, will be that they can get that across to Balogun and convince him to wait for a formal offer.

That will be a tough task, though. If he really is chasing first-team football, he’ll know that won’t arrive at Anfield. The best he can hope for is to be Divock Origi’s replacement on the bench.

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Working in Liverpool’s favour is their current record with young players. Balogun can see Curtis Jones playing with some regularity, as well as the young defenders this season.

If he was willing to wait, he could get his chance, too. But we’re just not sure it sounds like he’s inclined to wait.

And we’ll never blame a player for that.

Still, news that he will be up for grabs is a boost. It opens the door to Balogun enough for Liverpool to have their voice heard.

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