United States international striker Folarin Balogun has taken to Instagram to say his goodbyes after leaving Arsenal for AS Monaco earlier this week.
The 22-year-old spent last season on loan in Ligue 1 with Reims and has returned to the French top-flight league on a permanent deal.
A couple of clubs were keen on Balogun in the Premier League and Serie A, but it was Monaco that met the demands of Arsenal.
“With a heavy heart, I say my goodbyes to my boyhood club,” he posted.
“I was eight 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 am grateful for the times we shared.
“It is time for a new challenge and one that I am excited for.
“Thank you Arsenal Football Club. It was an honour to wear the badge.”
The Hale End academy graduate revealed that Thierry Henry played a huge role in his decision to join the principality club.
Monaco parted with £34 million to secure the services of the young striker from Arsenal on a five-year deal, and he will be keen to prove himself again after scoring 21 league goals last term.
Balogun joined the Gunners academy in 2008, signing his professional contract in February 2019 and making his debut in October 2020 in a Europa League group stage match against Dundalk.
He bagged his first goal for Arsenal the following month against Molde and made his Premier League debut in a 2-0 loss against Brentford in August 2021.
Balogun spent the second half of that season in the Championship with Middlesbrough, bagging three goals in 20 appearances.
He was not keen on leaving on loan again and was not interested in being behind Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah in the pecking order at Arsenal.