Arsenal announced yesterday that Folarin Balogun has signed a new long-term contract at the club.
The teenager’s previous deal would’ve expired at the end of this season and many people in and around the game felt that he would move on. Financially, it made a lot of sense for him to do just that, but he has turned around and has committed his future to Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta and Edu deserve a ton of praise for getting this deal over the line, especially after it looked for so long that he would leave for free.
The important thing now is that Balogun is here to stay. He is happy at Arsenal and there is a good chance we will see a fair bit of him in the coming weeks, especially in the Premier League where we have nothing to play far.
Balogun sat down for an interview with Arsenal’s media team yesterday. He has had his say on what has inspired him to stay at the Emirates – it’s Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka, not his striker pals Pierre- Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
He said: “Bukayo and Emile have shown me that if you just stick at something for long enough, eventually it will pay off. I take huge inspiration from them.
“I thought both of them seemed ready when they were called up each and every time. I thought they definitely prepared, not just physically but also mentally, for the challenges. I think that’s something I’ve learned from them.”
The Insider’s View:
Saka and Smith Rowe are massive examples for everyone in Arsenal’s youth setup. They’ve made the jump to the senior side at such a young age, and they are dominating the Premier League.
Arteta, and even Unai Emery to an extent, is one of the biggest reasons why Saka and Smith Rowe have been so successful. The Arsenal boss has kept his faith in them, even against the bigger teams, and it is fair to say, they have paid him back.
Balogun will be hoping to get the same kind of opportunities as Saka and Smith Rowe next season. If he gets a chance, he will have to deliver, and if he does, it’s another humongous compliment to Hale End.