AS Monaco on Wednesday evening completed the signing of USA international of Nigerian descent Folarin Balogun from Arsenal who will now be heading back to France where he made waves last season on loan with Stade de Reims.
Balogun, 22, who chose to represent USA rather than Nigeria or England has signed a five-year contract until 2027.
The interest by Les Monégasques in the striker who scored an impressive 22 Ligue 1 goals last season seemed to have begun when the Principality club arrived London for the Emirates Cup.
Several high-profile European outfits such as Inter Milan, West Ham United and RC Lens were keeping tabs on Balogun, who finished joint fourth in Ligue 1’s goal-scoring charts.
The New York-born forward only played ten games with the Gunners’ senior squad. The Arsenal Academy youth product reportedly cost Les Monégasques €30m up front with €10m worth of bonuses. Balogun has signed a five-year deal with Adi Hütter’s side.
Monaco were in the market for a prolific striker following the ACL injury of Switzerland international Breel Embolo and the sale of Kevin Volland to Union Berlin.
With Balogun joining the likes of Takumi Minamino and Wissam Ben Yedder, Austrian manager Hütter is due to have some selection headaches.
Monaco are currently top of the league on goal difference after gaining seven points out of a possible nine. They will host struggling RC Lens on Saturday in Ligue 1’s fourth gameweek.
Izuchukwu Okosi is a Nigerian sports and entertainment journalist with two decades of experience in the media industry having begun his media journey in 2002 as an intern at Mundial Sports International (MSI) and Africa Independent Television (AIT), owners of Daar Communications Plc.
In October 2004, Okosi joined Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports newspaper and Complete Football magazine as a reporter and later script writer for the Complete Sports studio.
He worked there for 13 years until October 2017.
Okosi also worked various times as Correspondent, Content creator and Editor at Sports Market International Magazine, Opera News, All Nigeria Soccer Media and Iconic Media Watch.
He also undertook freelance writing gigs for some local and international organizations.
Okosi is a member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Association of Voiceover Artistes of Nigeria (AVOA), Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He has been part of cast in some Nollywood movies and radio dramas including Blood Money 2, Scores To Settle, Dead End 2, Another Campus Tale and Battle Line.
Aside mainstream media and the entertainment industry, he has interests in scouting/unearthing of talents in the sports and creative sectors, exports business and property development.