Goal’s Arsenal correspondent, Charles Watts, spent some time talking about Folarin Balogun’s future during a video that was recently posted to his YouTube channel.
Back in the summer, it looked as though Balogun was on his way out of the Emirates Stadium after refusing to sign a new contract with Arsenal, with his current deal set to expire at the end of the 2020/21 campaign.
However, despite Arsenal allegedly placing an £8m price tag on him in the summer, the 19-year-old didn’t end up departing from the club and he went on to make his senior debut for the Gunners in their 3-0 UEFA Europa League win over Dundalk back in October.
During a press conference ahead of the Gunners’ 3-0 win over Molde in their latest Europa League game, Watts asked Arteta for an update on Balogun’s contract situation and the Spanish coach declared that he wants to keep the attacker and revealed that the club is trying to extend his contract.
The journalist addressed Arteta’s response to his question about Balogun during this recent YouTube video and shared his thoughts on the teenager’s future, saying: “I think a lot of you are going to certainly like hearing that, because I know how much you want Balogun to stay, I think he’s a fantastic talent, I’d absolutely want him to stay if they can come to some sort of agreement.
“I went to Barnet last year for an Arsenal XI v Barnet pre-season friendly, and Balogun played up front, he scored a hat-trick in the space of about seven minutes and it was an absolutely amazing hat-trick as well, the goals were such quality. He really does look a hell of an exciting player.
“You also have to understand that Arsenal have got Eddie Nketiah, Tyreece John-Jules – who’s out on loan at the moment, obviously – Gabby Martinelli to come back; so there’s a lot of young strikers competing for those positions, so it’s not a foregone conclusion that he will get into the team if he does stay.
“That’s why it’s not going to be easy – just because contract talks have re-opened, it’s not going to be easy to get him to sign a new deal. Arsenal are going to have a fair bit of negotiating to do and they’re going to have to allay a lot of fears and they’re probably going to have to change that offer that they put on the table for him.”
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TIF Thoughts on what Watts had to say about Balogun…
Seeing as though the teenager managed to score his first Arsenal goal in what was only his second appearance for the senior squad in Thursday’s win over Molde despite only being on the pitch for eight minutes, perhaps it’s understandable why both Arteta and Watts want Balogun to commit his future to Arsenal.
It may be fair to say that the 19-year-old forward has made good use of his limited first-team opportunities and perhaps he is making a good case for himself to be given more first-team game time.
However, it might be difficult for Arteta to justify giving him too much more senior game time until he commits his future to the club and so, with the manager declaring that he wants Balogun to stay, perhaps Arsenal should do their best to strike a deal with the attacker as soon as possible to alleviate all doubt over his future and allow both the manager and the player to focus on his development at the Emirates, provided his contract demands are within reason.