Arteta says Balogun will be “pushing anybody in our first team”

Last year most Arsenal fans thought that Bukayo Saka would be leaving the club because of the endless contract negotiations, but Mikel Arteta and Edu persuaded the youngster that he had a future at the Emirates, and this year we have had exactly the same thing happen with Folarin Balogun.

But yet again they have turned it around and, although the club haven’t yet made an official announcement, Arteta said on Arsenal.com: “We’re going to make it official when it’s official and everything is done, but as I said before I was being very positive that he wants to stay at the club. We want him to stay at the club so we are very close.”

The coach has also been talking to SkySports about Balogun, and is hopeful that he will be joining Saka and Smith-Rowe in becoming a regular in the Arsenal first team: “He’s a very, very hungry boy,” Arteta said. “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.”

Well it certainly sounds like Arteta is also keen to see Balogun in action once he has signed the new contract. Perhaps we could see him in a few end of season games to see if he fits in as seamlessly as Saka and ESR have done.

The future’s looking bright!

Tags Arteta Balogun ESR Saka

15 Comments

  1. Durand says:

    Very eager to see the young man get his chances. Maybe this spells the end for Nketiah because there aren’t enough minutes to accomodate 2 developing youngsters in 1 position.

    Selling Nketiah and AMN is a good start towards funding a Bissouma transfer.

    Having Saka and ESR in front of Partey and Bissouma makes for an exciting and dynamic midfield, and suitable to the tactics Arteta employs.

    Fingers crossed for Partey / Bissouma partnership next year.

    1. MrLucky says:

      And then miss both our starting cm’s during the Afcon..

      I’m also against having 2 midfielders who are more or less the same. That’s why I would prefer having more of a technical midfielder next to Partey. I’m still hoping Guendouzi develops into a star player in this role, but I really have doubts about his mentality. My first choice would be Locatelli

  2. Gunner4life says:

    Great news for him to stay and continue his development. The step up will be hard but he may just do it.
    MA/ Edu sign Taylor-Hart. He is a must.

  3. RSH says:

    Wow, another Willock goal.

  4. Lenohappy says:

    Get In there Wilock

  5. Sean says:

    Willock with another goal… maybe he may come in a take Cabellos spot once he does back to Madrid? Hes doing this in a struggling newcastle team.

    AMN, Elneny & Torreira can make way permantly for Bissouma & Guendouzi

    Partey
    Bissouma
    Xhaka
    Guendouzi
    Willock

    Looks lIke Ødegaard isnt happening as he is now an “untouchable” at madrid and can see them landing Haaland to make sure.

    Who do we bring in the help SmithRowe? Fekir? Coutinho?

    Saka, Martinelli & Bologun is the future front 3. Get rid of Willian, Nelson (loan) & Eddie (1st refusal) Give laca a 2 year extension and see where Aubas head is at come the summer to see if he wants to go.

    That’s not all, moving onto the defence looks like Luiz is leaving along with Hector. I’m cool with that as long as Saliba & Dino come into the fold and we use money to buy new full backs.

  6. Kobin says:

    Joe Willock. Scores on debut. Shoots down Spurs. Scores the winner against Westham. Not bad at all.

    And Lingard, oh Lingard
    9 goals in 10 appearance. Lingardinho!

  7. Sean M says:

    Had a read of the interview on Sky Sports and saw that Arsenal have given more minutes to players U21 than any other prem club this season…by quite a margin, too. Hopefully that’ll stop those who say MA never gives young players a chance.

    https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11670/12276117/mikel-arteta-exclusive-interview-bukayo-saka-emile-smith-rowe-and-the-story-of-arsenals-youth-revolution

    1. Rashid80 says:

      Nope he doesn’t give young players the chance.. Almost all of these mins are from Saka and Smith Rowe!

      1. Sean M says:

        Around 70% are. Sheff utd (2nd) have Ampadu and Bogle making up nearly 95%, Leicester (3rd) have Fofana alone making up 75%. Wolves (4th) have Pedro Neto making up close to 100%.

        What you’re expecting is not something that any premier league team does. But of course, you know best.

      2. MartinelliTheBench says:

        Saka was already part of the 1st team squad when MA arrived so that cannot classify as “giving a chance” to a youngster so let’s get the facts correct before mouthing off stats to try and look sharp

        Also ESR was not an active choice by MA, he was a necessity as we were very short in that department after Ozil left. MA himself stated in an interview that his inclusion in the squad was due to shortage of personnel.

        ESR and Saka don’t get given chances as you state, they are part of the 1st team.

        When Eddie, Balogun, Cottrell, Azeez play, that is what’s classified as giving the youngsters a chance son.

        1. Sean M says:

          I suppose one man’s writing dispassionately is another man’s mouthing off 😁

  8. Oracle Collins says:

    Lingardinho is on fire🔥Joe willock pushing💥willock should come back to replace Ceballos and if we fail to get Odegaard then let’s get Buendia and Bissouma 🤔

  9. Grandad says:

    I would hope Arteta backs up his verbal praise by giving Balogun meaningful game time in the remaining. league matches.Regarding the recruitment of Bissouma ,I think Brighton could well be receptive to a deal involving AMN and Nketiah as they are badly in need of a goal scorer and AMN is keen to further his career in central midfield.Of the multitude of other players with whom we have been linked, young Camavinga would be high up on my wish list, particularly as it seems Odegaard may be wanted by RM.

    1. Sean M says:

      The competing interest, however, is protecting Nketiah’s value. If Arsenal are to have any chance of maximising revenue, he’s got to play (and, ideally, bang a few in). I would imagine that Balogun has accepted that he’ll finish this season with the U23s and replace Nketiah as backup no.9 from next season.

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