Mikel Arteta defends decision to loan out youngster with ‘huge’ potential

Mikel Arteta held his first press conference since the January transfer window closed, and was asked whether he regretted the decision to allow Folarin Balogun to leave on loan.

The youngster joined Middlesbrough until the end of the season in a deal which didn’t include an option to buy, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was also allowed to quit the club and join Barcelona, but while we attempted to land Dusan Vlahovic, we ended up without a single signing before the window closed.

The manager was then asked if he regretted allowing the youngster leave considering his limited options up front to close out the season, and he claims that he believes the decision was best for both the club and the player.

“Well, again and with Flo especially and the amount of minutes that he played here, and the level that he shows when we could only play with the under 23s, it’s not fair,” Arteta told Arsenal Media ahead of the clash with Wolves.

“We want to develop that player, to maximise his potential – which is huge. We have to try to expose the player as quickly as possible to the level that he needs to be exposed.

“I was really confident that for him it was the right option, and he was convinced. So when that happens we have to let the player go, and evolve.”

Even without Auba, Balogun was still out of contention in December and early January, so it would have been silly to force him to continue in the Under-23 side when he is crying out for senior football. The Championship will be a much better gauge on his progress so we can decide what stance to take with him for the new season.

As far as the squad is concerned, Gabi Martinelli could get the chance through the centre if need be, while both Eddie Nketiah and our newly-confirmed captain Alexandre Lacazette should be plenty with just the Premier League to concentrate on after our January exits in both the League Cup and FA Cup competitions.

Does anyone believe the decision was wrong to allow Balogun to leave?

Patrick

Watch Mikel Arteta talking the transfer window, Aubameyang and the squad size.

Tags Folarin Balogun mikel arteta

3 Comments

  1. It’s a good thing we loaned him.. Because Arteta won’t even play him.. Playing him against strong teams early season with no supply then making it look like he’s not ready and never giving him a chance again.. Very happy that balogun went on loan and I hope he excels during his loan spell

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