Mikel Arteta wants wonderkid Balogun to stay at Arsenal

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • Updated: 19 May 2021 15:43 BST
  • 4 min read
Mikel Arteta wants wonderkid Balogun to stay at Arsenal

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has handed a bout of confidence to young striker Folarin Balogun by urging him to sign a new deal at the Emirates.

Speaking to the official Arsenal website, Arteta claimed that: “He is a player that I want to stay at the club.

“You can see the talent is there, the ambition is there and he can fit with our structure and progress in the future.”

Arteta handed Balogun his first-team debut last month against Dundalk in the Europa League, and after impressing in the academy, the teenager appears to be in his manager’s long-term plans.

“He’s part of the DNA and myself and the club are working to try to extend his contract,” the Spaniard continued.

“We’re trying to change the situation that we are in at the moment with him, and trying to convince him that this is the right place for him.”

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  • Balogun – a goalscorer

    With 14 goal contributions in 15 games in Premier League Two last campaign, and 29 goal contributions in 19 games in the U18 Premier League the year before, it’s no surprise that Arteta is desperate to keep Balogun at the club.

    Alongside the likes of Bukayo Saka, and Eddie Nketiah, Balogun is the future of the club, something that excites Arteta: “The young talent and the top talent that we produce at the academy is with the final aim to put them in the first team.

    “When I signed for this club it was one of the things that excited me the most because I love to work with them and it’s part of our DNA and the history of the club. When we have them, let’s keep them and we really think they are players that can take us to the next level.”

    However, with Nketiah amassing just one Premier League start so far this campaign, despite consistently excelling for England U21s, it may take a while for Balogun to establish himself as a first-team regular.