Folarin Balogun has bid farewell to Arsenal after joining Monaco earlier this week in a £35m deal.
After emerging from the Gunners’ academy, Balogun spent time on loan in the Championship with Middlesbrough before joining Reims on loan last season.
The 22-year-old made an immediate impact in Ligue 1, scoring on his debut before going on to finish fourth in the league’s scoring charts, behind only Kylian Mbappe, Alexandre Lacazette and Jonathan David.
After returning to the Emirates this summer the USA international made clear that he did not want to go out on loan again, and he was linked with a permanent move with several clubs.
Chelsea had emerged as a potential destination, with Inter Milan also reportedly interested but the striker ultimately opted to join Les Monegasques and return to Ligue 1, and he took to social media to reflect on his 14 years in North London.
Folarin Balogun shared a farewell to Arsenal on social media after sealing a move to Monaco
The striker shared a photo of himself as a youth after first signing with the Premier League club
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‘With a heavy heart, I say goodbye to my boyhood club.’ Balogun wrote on Instagram.
‘I was 8-years-old when I first came to Hale End and every academy player walks through the gates and dreams of making their debut for the first team.
‘I was lucky enough to fulfil that dream. There were so many people in the club who supported me and played a major role in my development on and off the pitch.
My teammates, the coaches, the staff – thank you to all of you and I’m grateful for the times we shared. It’s time for a new challenge and one that I’m excited for.
‘Thank you Arsenal Football Club. It was an honour to wear the badge.’
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Folarin emigrated to the UK as infant before being scouted by Arsenal.
The striker would go on to represent both England and the USA at youth levels, making 13 appearances and scoring seven goals for England U-21 between 2021 and 2022.
However, earlier this year FIFA granted Balogun’s request to represent to USA at senior level and he made his full international debut in June, scoring his first goal in his second cap as the USMNT defeated Canada in the Nations League final.