Recently, young Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun has been linked with a move to Anfield next summer. His current contract with the Gunners will expire at the end of the season and there are no signs of extension yet.
It’s nothing more than a rumor at this point, but if it were true, it would definitely fit a pattern. Liverpool have been here with past signings before, and that could indicate what could happen if interest in Balogun is real.
With Liverpool and Arsenal playing in the same country, any deal for a free agent is expected to be made next summer. And due to the player’s age, there should also be an agreed compensation fee at a later date.
Liverpool have taken this route already in recent years, especially Chelsea being the club that has been the source of new youth recruits. Dominic Solanke and Rhian Brewster are two players who have moved from Stamford Bridge to Anfield.
When the two were on the books at Liverpool, there was a significant promise around each of them that they were going to become the next big thing. While neither have been successful in securing a long-term future at Anfield, you’ll still have to say the Reds did a good job.
In a nutshell, it is low risk with a potential high reward strategy that the club employed. Signing young players with promising sacks for a relatively low price, but selling them later for a significant profit, even though they each had the potential to play for the first team.
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While costing Liverpool very little, Bournemouth shelled out £ 19million for Solanke while Sheffield United struck a £ 23.5million deal for Brewster. That’s a significant profit on what the Reds paid for the young duo, and looking back, it was certainly worth the relatively small bet to sign them in the first place.
In Balogun’s case, if the rumors are true, of course Liverpool would want him to be successful at Anfield in the long run. In comparison, he played a lot more first-team football than Solanke or Brewster at Chelsea before they came to Merseyside.
Liverpool have established themselves as one of the best teams in Europe under the leadership of Jürgen Klopp, and they have shown they are capable of bringing high quality youngsters through the academy. Trent Alexander-Arnold was the first to really make a name for himself, while Curtis Jones is the last to enter the squad as a regular player. You can also take into account Neco Williams, Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams, who have all had opportunities in the past 12 months.
The message is clear that if you sign for Liverpool you will still have a chance for a career at Anfield. And if for some reason things don’t work out, the club will do their best to find the right club for them. It all comes down to the duty of care Liverpool always fulfill when dealing with their players.
Liverpool’s ties to Balogun shouldn’t surprise anyone, in fact it would be more mind-boggling if they weren’t interested in one of England’s young football talents who will soon be out of contract. But if the links are true, it would definitely be a gamble and could end up helping the club significantly in the long term as well as the short term.