Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is confident that Folarin Balogun will sign a new contract and stay at the club for a long time yet.
The New York-born 19-year-old attacker, who has represented both England and the USA at different youth levels, is widely considered a great talent, and rightly so. He has so far only played in the Europa League and the Carabao Cup when it comes to the first team, scoring twice and assisting once in five games. It’s obvious that the youngster is hungry for more minutes at senior level, so vital for taking the next step in his development. He is currently with Arsenal’s Under-23 team, but having scored 20 goals in 44 appearances for them so far, it seems he believes he has outgrown that level. To be fair, he probably has.
Numerous reports throughout the campaign have suggested that Balogun was closer to the exit door than to signing a new contract with his current one expiring at the end of June this year, but Arteta is still optimistic and believes an agreement for him to stay put will be found before too long.
“I’m still very positive that Flo is going to stay with us and it’s what we’re trying to do as a club, and it’s what I’m trying to do as a manager,” Arteta told the reporters who pressed him on the subject during his conference ahead of the Leeds clash on Sunday at the Emirates.
As previously reported by The Guardian, no less than 15 clubs, both in England and abroad, have expressed an interest in signing the youngster this summer. The Mirror now claim that the most notable names among them are Liverpool and RB Leipzig, who face each other in the Champions League round of 16 soon.
Arsenal can be backed at 23/25 to beat Leeds United on Sunday.