Folarin Balogun has penned a fresh contract with Arsenal today, putting an end to any sort of speculation on his future.
Normally, an Arsenal youngster signing a new deal would be of little interest to Sheffield United or its supporters. Being honest, how the Gunners are doing is probably the furthest thing from Blades fans’ minds at the moment.
But in terms of Balogun, his name does hold some interest for United. Back in the summer, Chris Wilder had identified Balogun as a potential signing.
The Arsenal youngster’s contract situation was widely known about in football and Wilder, ever the opportunist, was trying to steal a march on the rest of the Premier League.
Of course, as we all know, Wilder ended up signing Rhian Brewster for around £24m instead. Still yet to score for the Blades, Brewster needs a big 12 months, although he has shown signs of life in recent fixtures.
But have United missed the boat with Balogun? And is he another to slip through the net in a summer which was clearly dominated with back and forth rows between boardroom and coaching staff?
Folarin Balogun signs new contract as Sheffield United miss out
In a realistic world, the chances of United signing Balogun were always likely to be slim. He was wanted by a number of clubs at home and abroad, so the Blades were probably lower down the pecking order.
But it does beg the question again of if Balogun was someone Wilder identified, or the board did. Prince Abdullah spoke a few weeks back about recommendations Wilder had apparently ignored. Per Yorkshire Live, he apparently wanted the likes of Tomas Soucek and Timothy Castagne at The Lane.
We’ll probably never know the full truth in that regard. How the Prince thought we were financing deals for those sorts of players, is a bit of a mystery in all honesty.
With Balogun, you do feel there’s a tiny sense of missed opportunity. Had we been flying like last season, then Wilder might well have been able to convince the young Gunner to join us.
As it is, United are left to look on and ponder. Balogun is likely going to be a big player for the Gunners next season. The Blades, meanwhile, will be languishing back in the Championship desperate to get things right at the first attempt.