Balogun appears to be taking the £34.3m price tag in stride, buoyed by advice and support from Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.
- Folarin Balogun’s £34.3m transfer to AS Monaco is supported by mentoring from Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.
- Despite a successful season at Stade de Reims, Balogun is fully aware of the competitive challenges that await him at Monaco.
- Arsenal maintain a financial interest in Balogun’s future with a 17.5% sell-on clause.
Transfer details: Setting the context
Balogun’s move back to Ligue 1 was one of the transfer sagas of the summer before Monaco agreed to the fee.
A legend’s guiding hand
Prior to the transfer, Balogun had insightful discussions with Thierry Henry.
Henry, the Arsenal legend who once graced the Monaco team as both a player and coach, has been tracking Balogun’s trajectory and has become a significant presence in the young footballer’s life.
“After we (Reims) played here he contacted me to congratulate me on my game,” Balogun remarked.
“I knew he had played here and he told me a bit about the club and that it’s a beautiful place.
“That was it, really. But even after my first training session here (yesterday), he texted to say congratulations on the move. It’s a good feeling to have the support of someone like him.”
Outlook and expectations
Balogun’s previous season under the guidance of Will Still at Stade de Reims was notably successful; he netted 22 times in all competitions.
However, he doesn’t expect a starting position to be handed to him at Monaco and looks forward to learning from his experienced teammate, Ben Yedder.
“I believe that you get the best results in life when you’re not comfortable,” Balogun explained.
“So that’s why I’ve taken myself out of my comfort zone, away from my family and friends, to improve as a player.
“There was competition at Arsenal and I wouldn’t expect to come to another top club and not face competition.
“But for me [Ben Yedder] is a legend and I’m looking forward to playing alongside him and learning from him. I expect to produce here and a lot of the pressure is internal. Obviously, the price tag brings expectations, but I’m not afraid of that.”
Arsenal’s future interest
Arsenal have inserted a 17.5% sell-on clause in Balogun’s AS Monaco contract, a strategy they’ve successfully used with players like Konstantinos Mavropanos and Matteo Guendouzi with their sales this summer.