At last, some exciting news on Folarin Balogun’s future.
The 19-year-old forward is one of the most highly rated players to come through the Hale End ranks in recent years.
However, Balogun’s future at Arsenal was uncertain for months, given his contract expires in the summer and there was no breakthrough in negotiations.
Until now, that is.
Mikel Arteta has revealed that the club have managed to persuade the young prodigy to stay.
“We’re going to make it official once everything is done,” he told his press conference ahead of Thursday night’s Europa League 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.”
Hale End has produced some incredible players in recent years, with Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe becoming first-team fixtures over the past 18 months.
Balogun is likely to be the next in line – but which other front line players could come through in the next few years?
Let’s take a look at three Hale End attacking gems who look set for a bright future in the game:
The 18-year-old striker only joined Arsenal last summer, but already he’s made a name for himself at Hale End and is being tipped for stardom.
He scored three minutes into his debut against Manchester City’s Under-23s and was nominated for the Premier League 2 Player of the Month award in November.
Moller has played at No. 9 and on the right wing for Steve Bould’s side, registering five goals and two assists from 15 Premier League 2 appearances.
The 6ft 4in Swede has drawn obvious comparisons with Zlatan Ibrahimovic due to his position and physique (as well as his nationality).
And according to football.london, there’s genuine belief among Arsenal’s academy coaches that Moller can go on to become a top Premier League striker.
The 17-year-old attacker has progressed through the age groups at Hale End after joining aged 11, becoming one of the standout players at Under-18 level.
Hutchinson, who signed his first professional contract in November last year, is known for his technical ability, passing and speed.
He has made 19 league appearances for Arsenal’s U18s this season, registering an impressive seven goals and eight assists.
Given how well Hutchinson has done, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him featuring regularly in the Under-23s next season – he’s already made the bench for them once this term.
And, if he looks a cut above for them, then we’re probably talking an EFL loan or even first-team minutes in the next year or two.
Like Moller, Ideho is a relative newcomer at Hale End, joining from Ajax in October last year.
The 17-year-old winger has played for both the Under-18s and the Under-23s this term – he has three goals and one assist for the former, and one assist for the latter.
Ideho, who has drawn comparisons with Crystal Palace and Ivory Coast star Wilfried Zaha, scored a sensational goal in the UEFA Youth League last year, lobbing the ball over Midtjylland’s goalkeeper from distance.
And he’s outlined his intention to make his Arsenal debut as soon as possible and become a first-team player (All Nigeria Soccer), testament to his confidence and ambition.