Thursday, October 6, 2022

Arteta explains why he wants to keep Balogun

Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Arsenal are trying to persuade Folarin Balogun to stay at the Emirates.

Both parties had parked contract talks after negotiations hit and impasse earlier in the year and the 19-year-old looked set to leave the club in the summer. Since then relations have thawed with the striker handed his senior debut against Dundalk after training regularly with the senior squad. He’s also travelled to Norway for tomorrow’s clash with Molde.

While it sounds like a deal to retain the Academy graduate hasn’t yet been reached, the boss spoke openly about his desire to retain Balogun’s services.

“Yes, he is a player that I want,” said the boss on Wednesday. “He is a player that I want to stay at the club. I love working with young players.

“You can see the talent is there, the ambition is there and he can fit with our stricture and progress in the future. He’s part of the DNA and myself and the club are working to try to extend his contract.

“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.”

There have been suggestions in some quarters that the imminent departure of Huss Fahmy – who led the previous round of talks with Balogun – may have soothed a return to the negotiation table. Asked what has prompted the resumption of talks, Arteta made clear that it was down to the player’s potential.

“I have decided that I want to keep the player,” he said. “The moment that I started to see more of the player and change certain things that I didn’t agree with, we decided to give it a go, tried to convince the player, try to show him what we want to do with him, why he fits in with what we are trying to do at the club.

“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.”

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Peter Cechs helmet

Play him then. Stop bloody waffling.

Johnny 4 Hats

We all know why Balogun belongs at the Arsenal.

Coz he’s got fucking GUN in his name, innit.

Heavenly Chapecoense

He also has “Balo” for Balotelli. Most would have agreed with me 8 years ago.

Artetas Assistant


Artetas Assistant

In Mikels world (the real world) , people need to earn shit (Willian is historically one of the hardest working players, Zero ego, he should come good. Clearly nursing an injury or on the borderline which he crossed in the last match ) or they’ll take it for granted. Mikel earned his playing time as a player by working his butt off, taking a paycut to come to Arsenal, not the quickest player, La Masia graduate but playing at Everton (not bad but not glamour). If you want to be on this ship, you have to be humble and work… Read more »

Johnny 4 Hats

People forget that Arteta will be asking on an almost daily basis about the progress of the youth team. He hasn’t just forgotten about the lad.

He obviously feels that right now, what’s best for his progression is plenty of U23 football with the odd appearance in the Europa.

After CB, leading the line is probably the hardest position to hit the ground running for a young lad. Nketiah has been a ghost in some games this season. And how many seasons ago was it that he scored that brace against Norwich?

These things take time.

Artetas Assistant

Right. You don’t cherish what you get for cheap


I think he’d be crazy to leave. 19 years old, come through the academy, has three players ahead of him in the pecking order – of which Laca is likely to leave in the next 18 months or sooner, Auba who mostly plays off the left and won’t be able to play every game as he gets a bit older and Eddie, who whilst being 2 years older still has a lot to prove and some may argue Balogun has a higher ceiling than him anyway.


Totally agree but I have seen crazier things happen. But maybe there is a change in ability of keeping players we want to stay.

Artetas Assistant

“I have decided that I want to keep the player,”

This is the statement of somebody who isn’t begging you and is on top of the situation. It’s a boss statement , now time to give Folarin a fair deal and he stays with us.

If Wolfsburg or Gladbach decide to make him first team striker, shit happens


Arsenal fc you never learn and you will not how come you wait the end of the contracts to negotiate!?

Teryima Adi

Martinelli. Nketiah. Balogun. Saka. Willock. Smith-Rowe. Nelson. Gabriel. Maitland-Niles. Tierney. Saliba. The future’s bright.


Just need to play ‘em

SB Still

Agree but to temper expectations, it looked bright with Gnabry, Ox, JET, The Jeff, Akpom, Zelalem, etc, as well.

So, let’s just hope Arteta can get us to score more goals starting tomorrow, that should brighten things up.

Crash Fistfight

I wouldn’t mind it we had Gnabry, the Ox and The Jeff at the club at the moment. Which creative players do we have that are better than them right now?




JET, the Jeff, Akpom, Zelalem barely played for the first team. Most of the current crop are playing twenty, thirty games a season now. So the chances of bringing more of them through are nothing like the chances of the group you mentioned. Not all of them will make it, but hopefully some will.


Only 4 have really impressed me. The rest is hope, which I share.

Sylvain Won'tord

We miss you (the) Jeff


I love Arteta, but some doubts are starting to arise, re the non-negotiables and playing young players. I ask myself why didn’t he choose to develop Nelson instead of bringing effing willian, who is totally useless and expensive as f. Nelson started to play well at the end of the last season and should have built on that. The same with Pepe, he is not a finished article and needs guidance and to play regularly. Apparently he developed Sterling so why does he not do the same here, with Nelson and Pepe – just play them and believe in them,… Read more »


Had he not signed Willian there would be complains we trust an unproven Nelson to Carrie us back to CL football.


No. At least not from me. Auba laca Pepe as senior front 3, saka nelson martinelli nketiah as top potential to play and develop as much as possible. Saka can already replace laca or pepe so can be in both groups. That’s 7 players for 3 positions which is more than enough. If I want to push it a bit you could add ESR there who is a top talent who I want to see more of, and if we don’t play with a no 10 hw should have a place on the wings if we are planning to use… Read more »


We have also tried that already with luiz, who was dreadful last season. Should have learned not to buy chelski rejects by then (cech was also an okay signing at best).


I agree about Luiz but it’s scary how when he comes off our offense suddenly looks so much worse.

Artetas Assistant

Good talk


Easy: stop playing Laca

Artetas Assistant

I forgot the title or the context of the article but I agree with this.


We want him to stay because we need more forwards that we can starve of service.


“change certain things that I didn’t agree with,…”
Another one about to enter the “kill spontaneity” grinder

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