Mikel Arteta tells Folarin Balogun to 'fight for his place' after dropping him
Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has urged Folarin Balogun to fight for his place in the side after missing out on making the squad in each of our last two games.

The young striker is one of our brightest talents. He impressed when he was given a chance in the Europa League last season and that convinced Arteta to promote him to the first team before the start of this campaign.

Illness to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette handed Balogun a start in our opening game against Brentford. He played 70 minutes against the Bees and could’ve scored, but sadly, he couldn’t convert his chance.


Arteta: Balogun has to fight for his place at Arsenal

Balogun started on the bench in our game against Chelsea before Arteta dropped him from the squad against both West Bromwich Albion and Manchester City before the international break.

The Arsenal boss was asked about his decision to leave Balogun out of his side. Arteta claimed that his transition to the first team has been a very big step for him and has urged him to fight to get back into the squad.

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He said, as per Arsenal.com: “He made his debut against Brentford and he played the following game against Chelsea as well. It’s been a big step for him in the last few months. He did all the pre-season with us, so he’s already learnt a lot in a few months.

Mikel Arteta tells Folarin Balogun to 'fight for his place' after dropping him
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

“He’s another player in the squad who has to fight for his place and ensure he’s available to do that.”

It’s difficult for Balogun to get any game time when everyone’s fit and available. The youngster has Aubameyang, Lacazette, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah in front of him, which makes it almost impossible for him to play regularly.

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However, Balogun’s time will come. He has to keep fighting and show Arteta that he’s ready. Once he gains the Arsenal boss’ trust, there’s every chance he could become as important a player for us as Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka are now.

Mikel Arteta tells Folarin Balogun to 'fight for his place' after dropping him
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane./Arsenal FC via Getty Images
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