Arteta says Balogun will be “pushing anybody in our first team”

Last year most Arsenal fans thought that Bukayo Saka would be leaving the club because of the endless contract negotiations, but Mikel Arteta and Edu persuaded the youngster that he had a future at the Emirates, and this year we have had exactly the same thing happen with Folarin Balogun.

But yet again they have turned it around and, although the club haven’t yet made an official announcement, Arteta said on “We’re going to make it official when it’s official and everything is done, but as I said before I was being very positive that he wants to stay at the club. We want him to stay at the club so we are very close.”

The coach has also been talking to SkySports about Balogun, and is hopeful that he will be joining Saka and Smith-Rowe in becoming a regular in the Arsenal first team: “He’s a very, very hungry boy,” Arteta said. “He wants to do everything. He wants to practice more every single day.

“He has unique qualities as a striker – his speed and the way he holds the ball. He’s a real goal threat and he works tremendously hard.

“He will be pushing anybody in our first team to get his spot and that’s exactly what we want.

“He’s got the chance; now it’s time for him to prove himself. We have to give him the right support, which he will get, and then it’s up to him and what he does on the pitch.”

Well it certainly sounds like Arteta is also keen to see Balogun in action once he has signed the new contract. Perhaps we could see him in a few end of season games to see if he fits in as seamlessly as Saka and ESR have done.

The future’s looking bright!

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