Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta faced the media today ahead of his side’s trip to Burnley on Saturday.
As usual, most of the topics in the press conference had nothing to do with the game against the Clartes. Arteta was quizzed a lot about transfers and player contracts, and one of the most interesting questions was about Folarin Balogun.
The teenager is close to seeing out his current contract. Multiple outlets have claimed that Balogun will leave the club as a free agent in the summer, but Arteta has claimed that he is still very positive that the young striker will stay.
He said, as per Arsenal.com: “I think I am pretty positive about it. Every time I spoke to him, he mentions the same thing – that he’s determined to stay here and he wants to stay here.
“He has some really positive conversations with his agent as well and Edu is in charge of that.
“He’s (Edu) been spending a lot of time and energy to make that deal happen because it’s important for us to keep our talent in the house, and what we can guarantee is that we’re doing everything we can to keep him.”
Arsenal Insider’s view:
There’s absolutely no doubt about the fact that Balogun is one of the finest young talents in the country. He showed in his Europa League cameos that he has a brilliant eye for goal, and his composure at such a young age is really admirable as well.
The youngster currently has Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah ahead of him. That has hurt his chances of regular game time, but things could change in the summer.
Eddie and Laca could both leave and Balogun could be given more game time. However, he will have to commit his long-term future with the club first – something he has been very reluctant to do so far.