Arteta will surely have Balogun in the spotlight on Arsenal’s USA tour

Let me stress my stance on pre-season games are that results don’t really matter.

So, I won’t be reading too much into our draw with Nurnberg, as much as I wouldn’t be getting carried away had we won in Germany.

Trust me, some Gooners would have been going over the top had we been victorious on Thursday.

Mikel Arteta will be spending most of his time observing individuals, their character, how they respond to the adversity of last season’s title race, is there any complacency, etc.

It’s believed that this time last year our manager wanted to pay special attention to William Saliba, the person, to see how he integrated into a new environment. It’s been suggested at that point our boss was undecided over the defender’s future.

In our latest summer tour, it could be Folarin Balogun’s turn to impress the Spaniard.

Having aligned his international future to America, the striker will be one of the poster boys with the locals when we head to the USA next week.

While some of his peers were loaned out as a device to get him off the wage bill, the 22-year-old was sent to Reims as part of his development.

He scored 22 goals in France; he couldn’t do much more to prove that he deserves at least a chance in North London.

Yet when asked about his future, this was the best assurances Arteta could offer,’He’s just staying here with us at the moment and we will see what happens’.

Not exactly reassuring words from a man who has the power to give them.

Not compared to 2021 when, despite not having kicked a ball for Arsenal in the League, Arteta went out of way to sell his future to the youngster, such was his reputation in our academy.

So why would his coach be so worried about a talent leaving when he had barely played in the first team, but now be dismissive when only three players scored more goals in Ligue One than Balogun?

So, any indifference towards the forward can’t be down to a lack of cutting edge. It can only be down to personality.

Arteta has often spoken about his ‘nonnegotiable principles and has a record of washing his hands of individuals if they don’t suit his ethos.

There’s a difference between confidence and arrogance.

Balogun’s insistence that he doesn’t want to be on the bench might have been interpreted a certain way?

His employers might not like the concept of being expected to give out guarantees over playing time.

An expectation for assurances translated as a player believing in his own hype after only one good campaign.

It’s worth recalling the year before when he only managed 3 goals in the Championship.

Balogun missed two sitters in our last match, the one player who needed a goal more than anyone. The margin between success and failure can be so small.

In professional sport you never know how many opportunities you will get and you should treat everyone like it’s your last.

How Balogun responds to those misses, and how he deals with the public attention he will get in Washington, will be watched with intent.


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  1. Even if he scored in Germany, it would be useless if Arsenal won’t offer him a new contract or if he’s unwilling to extend his current contract

    I wonder if some clubs have been contacting Arsenal for him or not

  2. Dan
    You wrote Balogun “insisted he didn’t want to sit on the bench.”

    Are you quoting Balogun? Has anyone quoted him saying this?

    I have read where Balogun was quoted as saying 2 things

    1. He did not want to go on loan again.

    2. With national team he understands he has to build chemistry with teammates and is not a guaranteed starter.

    Odd how he insists not sitting on the bench with Arsenal, as you write, but is ok with not starting on a weaker national team.

    I have seen other comments from others about his “attitude” yet read no complaints about his time at Reims, US national team, or with Arsenal.

    Just trying to understand that if Balogun is a malcontent with demands and an attitude problem I can’t find examples anywhere.

    Others say the same, yet cite no quotes or evidence, compared to Guendouzi for example, or Torreira.

    I will judge him on his performances, chemistry with teammates and manager, and quoted statements made by Balogun himself.

    Let him get some chances first before giving the lad the strap or boot. Sink or swim on his own words and performances.

    1. Thank you for bringing the facts Durand.

      For some reason people think not wanting to go on loan again = demanding to be a starter. The comprehension of some is questionable!

      He went on loan, did very well and did everything that a player should prove on loan was done….and now wants to be at a club where there’s a proper plan for him. How some people think this is arrogant is beyond me!

      1. PJ-SA
        You would think people would like that hunger and desire to show what they can do.

        Why some make up fake news about “demands” or “attitude” is a mystery to me. So easy to find the facts and truth, yet there seems to be an agenda with some.

        No one called ESR arrogant when he wants to stay and fight, yet Balogun gets labeled a problem child by some.

        Barely kicked a ball for Arsenal and some label him unjustly, wow.

    2. Durand, too many mind readers and crystal ball gazers on JA.
      I just hope Jesus, Balogun and Nketiah are spending time in shooting practice. Profligacy in front of goal will cost Arsenal, as it did last season.

  3. Personally I would sell while his stock is high ,that’s no slight against him but with Jesus being an Arteta signing I cannot see him getting the minutes he deserves,all 3 of our senior forwards our pretty much carbon copies of each other ,something as to give to make way for the outlay in transfers and Balogun will give us the most revenue out the 3

  4. I think now the only missing piece is the striker. My only choice is to bring in Kane. We all know from where he will come but the amount of goals he will bring with the help of other Arsenal player those would be exceptional. They way United got EPL by getting RvP, we will be getting something with him. I know difficult but maybe 80-90 will do the magic for us…

  5. Great points Durand and PJ-SA.
    Suddenly Balogun is expected to fit in seamlessly, after being sent out on loan to gain experience, in his very first game.

    Give the man a chance for goodness sake.
    If Nketiah and Nelson were given years to prove their worth, why not Balogun?

    His rumoured transfer fee is around £40,000,000, I wonder if Nketiah and / or Nelson would come anywhere near that figure?

    Just get behind our players instead of finding fault with them – God help Declan if he misses two sitters in his first game!!!

    1. wow Ken , I would keep Balogun over Eddie
      I was more wondering why Arteta hasn’t ruled out him staying ?
      Can’t be based on how he played in France ?

      1. Cos he missed 2 chances in pre-season?
        Jesus was scoring every goals in pre-season and continue losing sitters before the wprldcup. He went 5 games without goals before the wprldcup remember. What does that prove? A prolific striker?

      2. Sorry bro
        Thought you’re talking about Flo.

        Think I need to get some sleep now

        Even typing Wprld instead of world

  6. @Durand and PJ
    What people say about Saliba is why I don’t argue with them about Balogun.
    People believe Arteta was right about Saliba and buying White instead of giving Saliba a chance was right but now he prove them wrong. People are now saying Arteta was right by sending him out on loan. He turn out to be a better defender than White and if Arteta was right to send him on loan and bought White, does that mean Arteta didn’t do a great job on White? Atleast White spent a year under Arteta and still not at the level of Saliba.

    Balogun might not be successful under him but there is only one way to find out.
    If Pochettino refused to bench Adebayor to give Kane a chance, he won’t know how great he will be. And Kane was not even scoring in the championship.
    The Articles says he scored 3 goals in the championship but he forgot Harry scored 2 goals in 18 matches in his last loan before his breakthrough whereas Flo scored 3 in 18.

    1. People even accused Saliba of having attitude when he was in France giving interviews. Many even criticize him during his contract signing.
      What I see is that, any player that Arteta don’t want or don’t intend use are all accused of having attitude or not good enough. Our coach can see the future, so he knows everything.
      I wonder what would have happened to Trossard if he did what he does at his formal club here.
      I never heard him having an attitude.

      Players are also human and coaches are no saints. All words are not having an attitude, sometimes you need to speak up and stand up for yourself. Is called believing in your ability

  7. There’s no doubt that Balogun wants to be a part of the Arsenal first team set-up, but all we hear is that Arsenal are prepared to listen to offers in the region of £30-£40 mill. Why would we want to sell a striker worth that sort of money, who scored 22 goals for Reims in France last season? One report had him as a wonderful ‘discount’ on the Rice fee, if sold. Do we really prefer Eddie Nketiah (4 goals last season) to Balogun. We were also supposed to be in talks with Chelsea about him, and even the possibility of that annoyed me. It now appears that Balogun’s Arsenal future hangs on his having a good pre-season. Let’s keep Flo Balogun and sell Eddie to Palace or the Hammers for a nice £20mill.

    1. Just watch the difference between positioning, movement, and timing runs with Balogun and Nketiah.

      Don’t blame Balogun if he thinks he’s better than Nketiah, you need that confidence but have to prove it again, in England now after proving it in France.

      Balogun is a scorer, he has the instincts of a striker, where Nketiah still struggles to have that impact 5 years with Arsenal.

      Hopefully Balogun gets much needed game time in USA to see what he produces.

      Remember Arteta admitted his mistake with Saliba, let’s get a good look at Balogun and avoid another potential mistake.

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