Young Arsenal star Folarin Balogun puts transfer talk to rest with contract extension

Martin Macdonald
Young Arsenal star Folarin Balogun puts transfer talk to rest with contract extension

Arsenal youngster Folarin Balogun has committed his future to the club by signing a new, extended contract to remain at the Emirates.

Balogun’s previous contract with Arsenal was set to expire in June, which naturally catalysed speculation he could leave on a free transfer.

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Around the turn of the year it seemed like an exit was likely, but over the past few months signs became more positive for the Gunners, with manager Mikel Arteta expressing his desire for Balogun to stay.

He has signed a new deal until 2024, and Arteta believes “hard work starts” now for the prolific young striker.

“We have been extremely impressed with Flo this season,” Arteta told the official club website.

“He has continually shown his natural ability in many training sessions with us and we have been equally impressed with his early integration into the first-team squad on matchdays.

“He has given us glimpses with the performances and of course with his two goals already for the first team. The hard work starts here for Flo and we are all looking forward to supporting and working with him in the years to come.”

Technical director Edu, meanwhile, said:

“It’s great that Flo will continue to be with us. He is a very promising young talent and has already shown so much quality in his performances. We are all looking forward to working with him during his continued development in the coming years.”

Who could have signed Balogun?

According to Football London, three clubs were interested in signing Balogun this summer before he penned his extension.

Brentford, whether they gain promotion or not, were keen to take him on as they would be able to provide him immediate first team football.

A move abroad was an option, too, with RB Leipzig and Rennes both mentioned as potential destinations for the 19-year-old.