Arteta ‘positive’ that Balogun will stay at Arsenal

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has said that he is positive Folarin Balogun will stay at the club.

The 19-year-old has less than six months remaining on his contract with the Gunners and is yet to sign an extension. The club, the player and his representatives have been in discussions about a new deal but have so far failed to find an agreement.

It is understood that Balogun is keen on breaking into the first team and getting regular game time. He has not been able to do that in North London and this could prompt him to leave the club.

He did, however, make his debut for the first team earlier this season in the Europa League. He scored two goals and provided one assist in five appearances for the senior side in all competitions this season.

The New York-born striker has been prolific for Arsenal’s Under-23 side. This season, he has scored seven goals and provided two assists in 13 appearances in the Premier League 2. He was nominated for the Premier League 2 Player of the Month award for January.

Balogun has been linked with a host of clubs in England as well as the rest of Europe. He is free to sign a pre-contract with the team of his choice as he has less than six months remaining on his contract.

Sheffield United had a bid rejected for the player last summer while Brentford made an unsuccessful move for the Arsenal academy graduate in January 2020. Southampton, Brighton and Crystal Palace have been keeping tabs on the player. RB Leipzig and Juventus are also understood to be interested in the 19-year-old.

Arteta has consistently said that he believes Balogun wants to stay at the club and feels that the player will remain in North London for many years to come. On whether Balogun will leave the club at the end of the season, Arteta said:

“No, I’m still very positive that Flo is going to stay with us and it’s what we’re trying to do as a club, and it’s what I’m trying to do as a manager. As far as I know from last week, the player wants to be here, so I’m positive. I think he’s made some big progress in a few months.”

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