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Premier League ruling to determine Folarin Balogun’s fate at Arsenal next season

Premier League ruling to determine Folarin Balogun’s fate at Arsenal next season

The future of Folarin Balogun at Arsenal is currently a major topic of discussion.

And rightfully so. The 21-year-old has scored 15 goals in all competitions for Reims, including 14 in Ligue 1, outscoring PSG stars Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, and Lionel Messi.

If Balogun maintains his current pace between now and May, he will almost certainly give Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta something to consider when finalizing his squad plans for the 2023/24 season, as Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah may soon face additional competition for the central striker position.

The north London club is expected to be active in the summer transfer window, with links to Declan Rice in particular. However, it is important to note that they must adhere to Premier League rules when naming a 25-man squad, with no more than 17 foreign players permitted and the remaining eight spots reserved for ‘homegrown’ players.

Benjamin White, Emile Smith Rowe, Nketiah, Rob Holding, Aaron Ramsdale, and Reiss Nelson are the six Arsenal senior players currently regarded as “homegrown.” Matt Smith has been added to the list despite not receiving an official promotion, bringing the total to seven.

Karl Hein, William Saliba, Bukayo Saka, and Gabriel Martinelli are all under the age of 21, allowing them to be included on the separate list and eligible for the remainder of the season. Consequently, the Gunners’ Premier League squad currently consists of only 22 players.

Next season, however, players under the age of 21 will have been born on or after January 1, 2002. Therefore, Martinelli, Saka, and Saliba must be registered in the Premier League squad of 25 in order to be eligible for the competition, assuming they are still at the club despite ongoing contract negotiations.

The same holds true for Balogun. Born in July 2001, he will turn 22 more than a month before the first game of the 2023/24 Premier League season. Therefore, Arteta must register him as a homegrown player in Arsenal’s Premier League squad if he intends to integrate him into the first-team picture.

This Premier League rule guarantees a decision regarding the short-term future of the striker will be made during the summer transfer window. Either he is included in the squad challenging Jesus or Nketiah, he is sent out on loan to gain more experience, or the club sells him for up to £50 million, according to reports.

Premier League ruling to determine Folarin Balogun’s fate at Arsenal next season

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