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Contract management | Arseblog … an Arsenal blog

The news that Arsenal are set to lose highly rated young striker Folarin Balogun was something of a discussion point yesterday. Our youth correspondent Jeorge Bird wrote how it would be a ‘major disappointment‘ to see a player of his potential depart, and it has added scrutiny to how we deal with contracts.

This is a tricky one to be definitive about because what a player does at youth level isn’t always an indication of how it will go when they make the progression to senior football. The Arsenal Academy is littered with stories of players who were going to be the next this or that, exceptional talents at a young age but who simply don’t fulfil that potential/expectation as they get older.

You can think of so many examples – Jay Emmanuel Thomas, Emmanuel Frimpong, Chuba Akpom, Benik Afobe, Arturo Lupoli, Wellington Silva, Fran Merida, Quincy, Ryan Smith – the list goes on. Players who stood at and whose performances made people hopeful they could make that big step up to senior level. Players around whom there was some hype, but also hope. They’ve all had professional careers, but not at what would be considered the ‘top level’ (where we considered Arsenal…