Mikel Arteta has acknowledged that Folarin Balogun’s future may well have been somewhere else other than Arsenal, but has credited Per Mertesacker and Technical Director Edu for turning things around.

The exciting young forward is out of contract in the summer, and while there’s been no official announcement yet about his new deal, the fact that the manager is talking so openly about the player is a sign things have been sorted out.

Yet, with a host of clubs looking to take him on, the management team at the club had to work hard to convince the 19 year old that North London was the place to be.

“In all aspects, he knows that we trust him and that we want to have a future together,” Arteta told Sky Sports.

“Then, we needed to link that with the people at the club, with the right support from Per and the academy, and with the work that Edu has done over the months to undo what was happening and the direction the situation was taking.

“He has completely turned that over into a position where now the player is going to stay with us.”

Fair play Edu for that, and Arteta sounds excited about what Balogun can bring to his squad in the future, perhaps even between now and May as we manage the team with Europa League semi-finals in mind.

“He’s a very, very hungry boy,” he continued. “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.”

With doubts over the futures of both Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette, both of whom have just 12 months left on their deals come the summer, and with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang not getting any younger, there’s a definite pathway for Balogun to stake his claim.

Let’s hope he can fulfil that potential.

guest
65 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jules

I’m really surprised and glad the Balogun situation turned around the way it did. Think we should further use this opportunity to move Eddie on, he seems like a lovely person but I think we’ve seen enough of him to know he may be better off somewhere else, and the 10-15m we can get for him may be crucial in our pursuit for other players.

Bleeding gums murphy

Nketia is not good enough for the Arsenal I’m afraid. Seems like a good kid and wish him well. Would like Arteta to bring Balogun on instead of nketia when we are 4 nil up.

Mikels Arteta

I don’t think he’ll play this season.
Eddie will get game time as he’s more than likely being sold this summer. Increase/maintain his market value

Daveo

I don’t really think playing him is going to change his market value as he’s have to score to do that. He has a decent record with arsenal and obviously great at u21 (and home grown). He’s not like some spent 30yo overrated player that we’ve destroyed the value of. He’ll probably fetch 10-20M. We should be giving balogun plenty of run in the league to finish the season. No better chance to do so.

Viv the 🐐

Would you as lower club spend 10-20M on a pretty unproven striker? I’m curious who would do that. I hope too, that someone would spend that. I think it would be maximum 10 Mill. Maybe a bit more. But we are not getting over 15 realisticly. But maybe someone going up/down wants a new young finisher. Maybe.

Sachin

West Ham are supposedly in for him. Considering what they did with Lingaard (the asshole) they must think they can turn Eddie into a consistent threat, too.

Gibs

Liverpool sold Dominic Solanke and Jordan Brewster for around 20m. Two unproven strikers. The fact that Eddie is English aswell means his price will be inflated too.

Viv the 🐐

Yeah, but with Covid it is something different. And I can’t believe someone pays over 20 Mill for him, with the experience, that those two absolutely flopped. But maybe someone tries.

Marly

Rhian Brewster – Sheffield utd

Dave

I Agree, while Eddie had a very good record on the youth ranks, truth is he is a bit too one dimensional, so if he can’t score, he won’t contribute much else to the team. While Balogun seems to not have the same success as Eddie had (scoring wise) in the youth ranks, the few I’ve seen I think he is a more complete player whom can contribute even if not scoring.

Biggles

Yes, that’s almost certainly the case. We’ll need to sell to buy during the coming window and Eddie is certainly one of the more saleable assets we have (just because we want to sell several players, as we do, doesn’t mean other clubs necessarily want to buy them of course – or not at the prices we hope to get). If a reasonable offer comes in – and in the current market I’d guess that would be anything over £10m – then I think we’ll take it to kickstart our own buying.

PeteyB

I know the market has changed, but its hard not to look at the 30 million spent on Rhyan Brewster and not think we should get at least 20 for England U21 record goal scorer, with a lot more 1st team minutes than Brewster ran up

Viv the 🐐

But there are also 3 years of age in between. It would be a steal for us, if someone comes with that kind of money to us. But I surely would take. Some say we can’t sell our Hale End boys. But I think a couple of this generation of youngsters have to be sold for us to move forward and give the players of the future time to grow and stay.

GABBI

If Eddie goes for 15m we suck at negotiating. I could negotiate and sell Eddie and get more than 15m for him. Brewster same age as Eddie went for 20m and Eddie is 2 times better than Brewster and has a better goalscoring record. So right there anything less than 25m we’re not even listening. If arsenal are smart they should be able to sell Eddie for anywhere between 25-30m.

Jules

Just out of curiosity, could people reply to this comment with the players you think we should move on in the summer? I’ll start, I think we have a lot of work to do, but realistically I think we should start by moving Eddie and Bellerin out, there’s maybe 50m to get between the two of them if we play our cards right.

Walter White

Eddie, bellerin, Laca (he has created some value now). Luiz, Nelson, Willock, AMN, Elneny, Willian (China pls work some magic), Ceballos and Kola ofc.

Unsure about Chambers. Looks good but a small sample size. Ideally we could skip Cedric along, get a new RB to fight with Chambers (if he keeps performing).

Arteta and Edu has some work to do in the summer!

Alex Manninger

We can’t and shouldn’t sell 11 players in the same window. Half of them will stay

Biggles

Yes, we’ll be doing well to shift half of the players that are being listed in my opinion. The market is very depressed outside of a few wealthy clubs chasing a handful of “wonderkids”.

Arsenal have lost 25% of their income over this season by losing gate receipts mainly and that’s roughly the same for other clubs, although we’re at the high end. Where’s all the money coming from to buy all these players? Most clubs, like us, will be looking to cut numbers overall – that’s not a recipe for increased demand.

ChickPEA

Actually it’s not selling 11 as 2 of them (Luiz and Ceballos) would just leave. And many of our loanees (Torreira Guendouzi Kolasinac) wouldn’t be missed at all.

So I think trying 4 or 5 additional sales isn’t a huge overhaul, even if I would personnally keep Willock and Elneny.

This makes me realize even more how much our squad was bloated last summer, that’s really, really poor management.

Daveo

Yeah, I don’t see the need to push Mo out the door. He’s a really solid squad option. Willock too, I’d be keen to keep around. My Geordie mate is well chuffed with the way Willock is playing. He thinks he’s a big part of their recent uptick in form. Sure, sell him if a big offer comes in (maybe someone puts up 20-25M? probably not), but he continues to develop and his running, positioning, work rate and goal threat are big positives. I also agree Luiz and Dani should be gone, the three loanees should be moved (Maybe generate… Read more »

Biggles

I think we should hang on to him. Like you, I doubt we’d get the kind of money mentioned for him at present but if he develops “back home” we have the option of either retaining him (good for Arsenal) or selling him as a more mature player later, probably for a higher fee (also good for Arsenal).

Monty Sop

How is life on Fantasy Island?

Frank Bascombe

Only because nobody’ll buy them.

Goonerink

Also there’s no China money anymore.

and small sample size of chambers? Before injury he was one of our top performers, before that he was pots at Fulham.

Johnny 4 Hats

That’s fine by me. I kept accidentally smashing it…

Available for birthdays and bar mitzvah’s.

ashish mann

China rather not work any more magic please!!

KingKolo

Poor taste.

Atid

So you are thinking of offloading 5 or 6 homegrown players? So what are you thinking just go into a whole season with 17 non homegrown and a sprinkling of teenagers?

Biggles

I fear that’s fantasy land stuff. Who will buy all these players from us? Clubs have lost up to 25% of their income over the last season. If we sold half the players you list in “normal” times we’d be doing well, but now…? I don’t think so. Sorry.

Biggles

*this season (2020-21)

Viv the 🐐

This will really be the thing. Who will spend for anyone? I think a Lacazette or Bellerin will be sellable. Maybe an Eddie, Torreira or Mavropanos for a “loss”. And Guendouzi will have to be sold, if he does not want to stay and does not want to sign a new contract.

Pat

Eddie, Bellerín, Toriera, Luiz, Willian, SOLD.
AMN if we can get Hakimi Achef
Buy Ødegaard, Ceballos or Manuel locacelli

Sachin

What??? AMN and Willock are having pretty good loan deals. We’d be stupid to let them go. I love Elneny and he’s a solid no-fuss squad player – those are pretty hard to find.

Automatism

I just can’t reconcile myself to losing Hector who’s a firm favourite. So for me: Eddie, AMN, Kola, Guendouzi. Also probably Torreira, Willock Nelson and Mavropanos (would be very open to any of those staying though). Ceballos presumably not returning either, and Luiz should go.

Increasingly feel like Laca might just hang around. And Xhaka too, although I’d prefer an upgrade. Arteta loves his experienced lieutenants.

Goony

Get rid of Leno and bring someone else in. Too many goals conceded

Biggles

Who would you bring in? Is it “anyone but Leno”? If we want a top class replacement for him, which presumably we would, how much would he cost? Really good keepers are few and far between as we know and probably retain their market value better than any other players outside of the handful of “superstar” strikers. It isn’t as easy as just saying we need to sell a particular player and buy a replacement. If only!

Martin

It’s funny that Leno must be Teflon wrapped as he is our most error prone player and has cost us more points than anyone else. Because he make a some good saves, fans are happy to forgive him. Personally a new keeper should be our no 1 priority. I realise like you I will get loads of down votes

DPK

Toxic Martin strikes again.

Martin R

Nothing toxic about wanting to improve the team with a top keeper which clearly Leno isn’t. I genuinely believe Arteta is the right man to take us to the next level but is handicapped in a vital position

KingKolo

Eddie, Bellerin, Luiz, Elneny, Willian, riskier one Holding (on a big contract, English, playing well – would only sell because he could command a very decent fee… Chambers and Saliba cover the RCB position)

I would keep AMN and play him RB plus Elneny style midfield cover if he wanted to stay otherwise sell. Definitely keep Willock in squad and loan Nelson to a Premiership team for a full season…

KingKolo

Forgetting selling Torreira, Kola and maybe Guendouzi, though I might loan again to try and find a good season for him somewhere and real value or return a bit more grown up in 2022-23, he’d only be 23yrs old at that point.

Viv the 🐐

And his contract runs out next year …. Do you see him signing a new one?

ChickPEA

Forwards: Laca, Eddie, Willian (a man can dream), Nelson
Midfield: Torreira, Guendouzi, Ceballos
Defenders: Hector, Kolasinac, Luiz, AMN + one of Chambers or Mavropanos (I like them but we have too many CBs)

I would like to see Willock given a chance by the way, he’s still young and talented enough to be at least a squad player.

Steve

People to move on: Bellerin, AMN, Guendozi, torriera, neikta, nelson. Should generate around 90 euro. We will look at Hakimi, lampey, odegaard & ceballos. Add to that our loan players willock, saliba. LACA I’m on the fence some days I prefer his to Auba. Tough call for Arteta. If h3 moves on I expect we will go for the Celtic striker but wouldn’t be fussed if he stayed.

kasgood

90 euro you say you don’t mean 90 mill! really. Bellerin – free to Barca (thev’e no money) Torriera – Loan to Boca, Nelson loan or free, AMN maybe a few mill, Eddie same as Nelson. Luiz out of contract, Kolasinac pay him up.
Willian only a new manager would try to move him on.
Who has any money apart from the usual suspects.

Viv the 🐐

Out: Bellerin, Torreira, Kolasinac, Nketiah, Mavropanos, Laca OR Auba, Willock. No idea: Guendouzi. If he wants to stay and signs a new contract, he can stay. But if a good offer comes in, I might be mad in the future, but I hope we invest that money wisely, like last summer. For the Homegrown rule: We have to scrape by this year because next year ESR, Saka and some other youngsters are Homegrown, so that should not be a problem in the future. Let Luiz and Ceballos run out their contracts. Pray for Martin. And Kolasinac will probably be sold… Read more »

Charlie George

A lot of talk here of selling Mavropanos, but he has the best stats, and the best average rating on Transfermarkt, of all our defenders.

He’s also got height, which is always an asset in a CB. He might be worth bringing back to replace Luiz.

MojoWillneny

Xhaka: 25
Bellerin: 20
Lacazette: 17
Guendouzi: 15
Torreira: 15
Chambers: 15
Maitland-Niles: 13
Nketiah: 10
Nelson: 10
Mavrapanos: 7
Matt Smith: 1
McGuinness: 1
John-Jules: 1
David Luis: 0
Total: 150

Buy
Odegaard: 45
Edouard: 30
Bissouma: 30
Unidentified Right Back: 25
Unidentified Back up Left Back: 10
Unidentified Back up Keeper: 10
Total: 150

Or something thereabouts. Hey, allow me to dream…

Viv the 🐐

I dream too and make those plans. Your Sells look realistic looking at the price. Did you go by the FIFA squad? Selling Matty, Mark and Tyreece is a bit random. I’m just curious which clubs think: We should get that Arsenal above anyone else.

MojoWillneny

Yea, selling the loan kids is random but Imat the time I wrote it we could’ve used every million pounds we could find—after yesterday’s announcement everything’s changed. Might as well keep all the remotely promising kids and see if they develop…

Walter White

“He’s a very, very hungry boy”. I think that’s a very precise description of him. You can see it every time he’s on the pitch (though it has only been a few).

Eric Blair

Three pieces of weetabix for him every morning.

Dennis Elbow

I will raise that to 4 Shredded Wheat.

DPK

He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very hungry boy.

Almunia4Pires

I do not for once believe there were 15 clubs fighting over Balogun, as surely his agent would have us (and more importantly, Arsenal) believe. A soon-to-be 20 year old that hasn’t played a single minute in the PL? Please!
I do hope he becomes a force for us but this whole contract renewal saga has left a bad taste in my mouth. Nothing to do with the player, I hope he fulfills his potential and leads our line in years to come. However his agent will cause trouble again I’m afraid.

Sac, Lac & Craic

Well his agent represents Saka also so you can’t throw babies out with the bathwater…

AMN's cheeky grin

It wouldn’t surprise me if there were 15 clubs that expressed an interest in a 19 year old striker (with a great scoring record at youth level) on a free, especially in Covid times. It’s a low risk signing with potential high reward if it goes right (either he plays for first team or gets sold for profit).

They probably weren’t all top level clubs anyway. Bayer Leverkusen was meant to be the biggest club interested. The fact he’s stayed at Arsenal suggests he may not have got any big salary offers from big clubs.

Fatgooner

The important thing is that we don’t allow young players with potential to just walk away for nothing. Even if Balogun doesn’t make it at Arsenal we should be able to pick up a few quid in transfer fees for him. Personally, I like the look of this boy and I think he could make it at the Grove. If he does sign then the first thing we should do is to send him out on loan to gain some experience. In the short term we need to sign an experience striker for next season. But Balogun could be the… Read more »

Keyarldo D

I remember seeing him score a hatrick in less than 15 minutes at Barnet stadium a couple seasons ago…believe me he’s all that!

rincewind

this is exciting. i hope it works out. but when do we see him play?

Vonnie

I would think when the u23s are safe from relegation, he’s really important for them at the moment.

Atid

Nketiah, may still come good but my fear is that he is another lupoli, Afobe or akpom. I would give him a new contract then send him on loan. Then we can see more of what Balogun can do in the first team. Let’s also not forget we have John-Jules and Moller

Atid

It looks like we will be unable to do much this summer. However we currently have 11 goalkeepers, I cannot see us keeping Ryan, apparently he has not impressed, ditto Runarsson. Leno is not quite up to the no.1 job and certainly iliev needs to go. Right back we now have Chambers, Cedric, Bellerin, Swanson, Osei-Tutu, Alebiosou and also Harry Clarke who can all play there. Whilst Norton-Cuffy looks a beast. Selling Bellerin makes sense. Left back is entirely different, it’s obvious we need a back up to Tierney as Bola and Lopez are clearly not ready. Last I read… Read more »

Biggles

I think it’s good news that he’s signed but was all the drama in the lead up to doing so really necessary? I think not. Until/unless the club gets their contract negotiations on to a more sensible footing (something that they were determined to do some time ago now) to avoid many – not all – of these last minute dramas, Balogun will not be the last. Indeed, Laca has a year left now and reports suggest his transfer value may be as low as £15 million, despite his recent good form, as a result. We need to get a… Read more »

MojoWillneny

The article says it all, Balogun has great character and great potential-signing him is a huge plus for the club. Nketiah and Maitland-Niles could fetch us a combined 25-35m. Willock scored a dramatic winner for Newcastle this weekend (his 3rd in 9 for them, and two of them as a sub). Reis Nelson’s disappearance is concerning but his age, English heritage, and past exploits in Germany probably still combine to start his pricing at 10m. Saka and ESR—what more needs to be said—future stars of the game. Then there’s the generation coming up behind them: Patino, Hutchinson, Taylor-Hart, Cirjan, Lopez,… Read more »