Arteta confirms Gunners are set to keep Balogun

54

Mikel Arteta has confirmed reports that young striker Folarin Balogun is set to sign a new deal at Arsenal.

Negotiations with the 19-year-old have been drawn out for more than a year and at times it looked as though the Academy graduate’s future might lie elsewhere.

Several foreign clubs are thought to have made contact in January but despite being able to sign a pre-contract agreement ahead of a Bosman move this summer he’s been persuaded to stay put.

“We’re going to make it official once everything is done,” he told press ahead of Thursday’s clash with Slavia Prague.

“As I said, I’ve always been very positive that he wants to stay at the club. We want him to stay at the club so, we’re very close.”

Asked how the club managed to turn things around, Arteta explained: “We just tried to, first of all, understand why he got to the point that he was really thinking about leaving the football club after being raised here and the feelings he’s built towards the club.

“Once you understand his position, you try to explain what you want to do, how involved he’s going to be in the project and how and then get the full commitment from the club and support. And Edu, who has done an incredible job as well.”

He was coyer on how he plans to use Balogun and whether a loan move next season might be on the cards.

“First of all we have to sign him,” he said. “Once we sign him, we go step by step and we’ll communicate with you guys what we’re doing.”

Good news to have Flo tied down. We’ll expect confirmation in the coming days.

guest
54 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
BongoGooner

400’000 a week??

No i am very happy to hear this
Great news and a great kid
COYG

@jbrusty

Great news that he is staying… But would be nice if we could stop getting into these last year of contract situations on such a ridiculously frequent basis

Wiltoooooooooord !!!

Why would anyone downvote this comment?
1) are you not happy that we are keeping a youngster with potential, if he doesn’t reach the required level we can at least sell him at a profit
2) do you want us to get into these last year situations.. likes of Alexis, Ramsey, Welbecks, and others

2013 utd won the title and said best 24 mil spent ever.. imagine them winning it in 2018 and saying best mkhitarian spent ever ..

Robh

This isn’t the 90s anymore. Players realize they have the leverage and power. They know it, their agents know it. There is basically no incentive to resign early for a player.

Biggles

Yes, but if they don’t want to “play ball” before the final contract year arrives then they should be sold (if possible). I don’t see this happening much at the likes of City, Liverpool and some other “big” clubs but final year tribulations are still too common at Arsenal, aren’t they.

Wreh's FA Cup dream

Sane entered into the final year of his City contract last summer and Wijnaldum is currently in the final few months of his Liverpool contract.

Avo84

Add Aguero, and the spanish defender Barca is after at man city

Biggles

But City had a mutual agreement to let Aguero leave at the end of his contract. We’re talking about players who Arsenal don’t want to let go, but can’t bring contract negotiations to a conclusion before the final year arrives.

Biggles

I didn’t say other clubs aren’t in this position, it’s a question of numbers over time – we have had more high profile players in this position than most other “big” clubs. That goes back to players like Sanchez – the top striker in the PL at that time and worth a fortune – exchanged for Mkhitaryan who we didn’t want and had to cancel his contract later on to get him off the books?

A Different George

Please, any actual information about other clubs having the same problems as Arsenal just gets in the way of the narrative. I hear about Liverpool’s success in keeping players and I think: Luis Suarez, Raheed Sterling, Philippe Coutinho.

A different, but perhaps analogous, point: Players and supporters of other clubs hate Mike Dean, think he has screwed them out of favouritism. How can that be? We Arsenal supporters know Dean is out to get us–us, no one else– not that he is merely a maddeningly self-aggrandizing and often wrong referee.

Vonnie

With that attitude we would’ve lost Saka and Balogun. Don’t forget our negotiators have been absolutely useless for years now, I think Edu and Mikel are doing a decent job so far. Sanllehi couldn’t find a spare million to pocket by signing up youngsters from our academy.

Biggles

Not necessarily at all – it would have meant that both sides would have negotiated much earlier in the process, that’s all. With that to focus minds the result in both cases may well have been the same – that they both stayed and everyone would have known where they were. It’s not necessary to leave things until almost the last minute, contract-wise. There may be exceptions, there usually are for all rules, but we’re still doing this far too much in my opinion. Talking about doing a good job so far, what about Laca? He’s been allowed to reach… Read more »

Vonnie

No idea where the £15 million comes from but I’m not gullible enough to believe it. None of us knows what went on but I think they were negotiating with Balogun when Sanllehi was fired and had to pick up the pieces with Auba first. None of it’s been ideal but it doesn’t help banging on about history. What counts is what’s happening now, and Balogun and Saka are staying, and both rate Mikel highly, which I’m sure pisses on some people’s parades.

Wiltoooooooooord !!!

Yes point taken.., but we have been pretty shit dealing with contracts recently. Yes there are Ginis and messis, but surely “WE” can do better than what we have been doing

Public Elneny

It’s a very hard situation to avoid with academy players tbf Rules dictate that the maximum length of contract players 18 or younger can sign is 3 years – so really if we want to avoid them running down the contract you need to offer a new one each year and a 4/5 year one immediately after turning 19 – which we clearly did. But if the player/agent (this agent has a history of running down contracts and represents a lot of our academy players unfortunately) want to keep their options open, what can you do? You won’t get much… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

Yeah, I think they’re two separate situations. I totally agree in relation to senior players (i.e. if they haven’t renewed with 2 years left, we should look to sell). We’re not in a good position finance-wise to allow players to leave for free. If we were in the CL every season that would probably be different, but not with EL (or worse, most-likely no European football next season) we can’t replace players with others of equal value (ability-wise) without selling.

A Different George

I’m happy if we can keep him but this was nothing like the situation with senior players like Ramsey being allowed to leave on a free. Apples and oranges, based on a view that Arsenal can control everything if they want. That’s the reason for my down vote.

Biggles

You are 100% right. The club indicated that they would put an end to this nonsense some time ago …

Berlingoon

But Arteta ruins all our talents! Has nobody told that to the guy? It’s so obvious when you look at Martinelli. I mean, you could also look at Saka, ESR, Odegaard, Tierney etc but hey, that wouldn’t help the agenda. So let’s just concentrate on Martinelli‘s playing time and act as if Arteta hates young players and lives to ruin them!

Goontang

Yeah but there’s been plenty of chances to play Flo. Its not like playing the more experienced players has got us far in the cups to be fair.

That’s what I loved about Wenger though. He still threw the kids in during knock-out stages of the cup because he stuck to his guns.

Vonnie

Flo has been critical for the u23s who are battling relegation, he’s too important to them at the moment.

TomH

No he didnt really. As competitions got more competitive Wenger also began reducing the use of the kids unless injury forced him to play them.

Maybe they would get a run out in the last 10/15 of a game if we were obviously cruising. We havent had such a luxury under Arteta.

Avo84

Not in the league cup

karl

Nobody was saying that. Arteta just seems to a bias towards experienced players that is understandable for a young manager.

It is frustration that Martinelli was not getting any gametime when the team so badly needed his direct approach and running. That has been proven at the weekend.

Andy

you can’t play a team full of kids. as arteta has said you need to find a balance. he was also very clear in his stance on balogun. commit your future to the club and you will get game time. whatever the strategy with balogun it seems to have worked which is good news. arteta has now helped bring through a number of exciting young talents and also had a good look at others like willock/nketiah/nelson and maitland niles. i’m not sure he could be doing a much better job in this regard. we definitely took our eye off the… Read more »

Tankard Gooner

The martinelli situation is a curious one, no doubt. Do you think it was entirely to ease him in from a long injury? Honestly curious about other people’s views.

Rich

Martinelli is 19, he’s still raw in aspects of his game, and he’s coming back from a bad injury 6 – 12 months can be a long time at that age, look at the progress Saka has made over the past 12 months Smith-Rowe was rescuing Huddersfield from relegation in July I think both Martinelli + Saliba will breakthrough at Arsenal Whenever a team is struggling, it’s always the fans default position to either place all their hopes into an injured player, or a young player Very few 19yr olds are performing consistently in the PL, Saka has 5 goals,… Read more »

bob

I think it’s very understandable that Arteta is managing Martinelli back from his injury. Gabi is the type of player to always say he can play, and unfortunately those youngsters often get bajanxed. I think Arteta wants to be cautious with him, and time it so that he slowly takes over from Auba. Arteta will have seen Wilshere’s story first hand and will certainly want to prevent that from happening to Gabi. He will be kicked about, and his all action style will make injury scares likely (just like last match!!) so I think part of the caution is about… Read more »

Tankard Gooner

Fair enough Bob, that’s a very reasonable argument there. The Wilshere experience from Arteta’s time in the first team was an interesting point. I remember during last season’s preseason, gabi looked like he’d put on a few pounds of lean muscle. At his age if he can maintain his speed and agility while adding a bit more physicality, I think we will have the complete edition of a defender’s worst nightmare.

Andy

only think i can think is it’s to do with the inury and what arteta sees in training. this season, martinelli has injured himself warming up in one game and in two games he has gone down like he has had a career ending injury but then recovered. maybe some anxiety/trauma there on his side about the injury and arteta aware of that?

Kostas

I am pretty sure Saliba will have smth to say while we registered Mustafi over him a player which we actually paid to get rid of later. Or Pepe which saw Willian coming to take his place whenever he manages to gain momentum Or Saka who was playing as a sub of Kolasinac at LB and only played when an injury crisis came. Martinelli has reduced playing time as you said And maybe Azeez is a same scenario when compared to Elneny or Ceballos. Nelson Nketiah and Willock took changes but they didnt capitalize to be fair and AMN has… Read more »

Dave

If we played all the kids at once as you seem to suggest we’d just get battered. There has to be balance. It is frustrating to not see talent come through more quickly but we have to be realistic with our expectations around how quickly youth can get integrated and when is the right time.

Kostas

We would have been battered?
We are already battered.
The only difference is that we cannot sell Luiz Willian Soares Elneny and Ceballos… as it was proven for Ozil and Mustafi and Socrates

Ashburton Red

Excellent news and a credit to the management team getting this done 👍

Daveo

Yes, if we are able to save this it could be a massive coup for the team. Credit to Arteta, Edu, and Dick Garlick [chuckle], he looks like he could be a special player, now we just need to give him some games. I’d absolutely be using him in some EPL fixtures to close our the season along with Azeez. Why not, not much to play for (realistically) in the league – except perhaps St Totteringhams’ day and these guys may make a difference anyway. let’s see what we have. We know what we have in terms of our “elder… Read more »

...and really bad eggs...

It has to be said, Arteta & Edu have done pretty well in being able to convince players to sign over the last 2 years. From Saka, to Auba, and now Balogun.

Some 5-10 years ago, at least 2 of these players would have left! Well done to the team!

Now the task is letting the players leave who should go! If they can get it right we are halfway there

C.B.

Could be a word missing from the title of this article, btw.

Good that we are keeping him. Hope he meets the expectations, given they have shot up.

OmoArsenal

This has to be a great news for a week marred with injuries all over. Folarin is a good striker, quick on the ball, direct and his hold-up play is good as well. I’m sure he’s gonna have a blissful time in red.

Goontang

Want to understand why he wants to look elsewhere? Seems pretty obvious doesn’t it? Lack of game time after coming on and scoring as a sub and also being hyped up as the next big thing.

Perhaps they have given assurances that Nketiah will be moved on and he will get some chances next year.

Savage

Yes, and the kids going to Germany have done very well, so it’s easy to be tempted

Neder

Great news! Looks like you had a bit of a moment with the headline though Andrew!

John

Really pleased about this news. Very surprised as well. It looked for all the world like he was on his way out.
In my view, and admittedly we haven’t been able to see much of him, Balogun is just just behind Saka and Smith Rowe as an academy talent we must integrate into the first team squad. The likes of Maitland-Niles, Nketiah, Nelson and perhaps even Willock can be sold for a tidy profit and have good careers elsewhere, but we have got to hang on to the cream.

Qwaliteee

Well, that’s a step in the right direction. Far better we retain him at this point in his career.

Let’s now hope the lad can do the business at Premiership level.

Parisian Weetabix

Agreed – he always looks so good in the U21s highlight videos, I’d have been gutted if he’d gone elsewhere.

Biggles

Good news. Let’s make the best use of him next season. A loan looks on the cards but we don’t want a repetition of the Saliba fiasco.

Savage

Or most of our fiascos, to be fair. We’ve had very few successful loans for our young players.

Daniel

Great start to the summer plans. So much to do though to get a competitive squad for next season.

Lux gooner

“Arteta confirms are set to keep Balogun”

Is it just me or is there a word missing here? I can’t not let it go sorry 😅

Ozzie

Seems like Balogan just wanted to see what offers he got in January, and those other clubs weren’t good enough, not about anything Arsenal have done differently.

gooner

Tore Andre Flo?

The Balogunner is better

Rich

Unless we’re either loaning him out to play competitive football consistently next season Or we plan on selling Lacazette + Nketiah this summer, and then using Balogun as an understudy to Aubameyang, which would create space for Martinelli on the left Then I think he’s being badly advised At some point young players need to start picking up consistent minutes Nelson has wasted two seasons in his development, he should have had a season in the Championship last season, and then a loan in the PL this season Nketiah should have been sent out on loan in January to pick… Read more »

Man Manny

We must be cautious in our expectations with Flo Balogun.
It’s good to remember that if Nkeriah had been in that position 2 years ago, the club would have fought, tooth and nail, to keep him too.
Vela, Akpom, JET, Afobe et al, were full of promise at that age too.

Sauce

This lad is above Nketiah in the pecking order for me