Premier League giants Arsenal have reopened contract negotiations with youngster Folarin Balogun, it has been confirmed.
19-year-old attacker Balogun has long been viewed as one of the most promising young talents on Arsenal’s books.
The New York native is a product of the north Londoners’ youth system, with his goalscoring exploits over recent seasons having begun to catch the eye.
As per football.london, Balogun notched a goal every 62 minutes with Arsenal’s U18s in 2018/19, a key factor in the club’s title win.
Folarin Balogun 🆚 Fulham
— Arsenal Academy (@ArsenalAcademy) November 13, 2018
This was followed by a further 10 goals and 4 assists across 15 appearances in the Premier League 2 last season.
Such impressive form, in turn, has unsurprisingly seen Balogun tipped for a bright future at the Emirates.
In fact, the early months of the new season have seen the teenage hitman earn a regular spot in first-team training alongside Mikel Arteta’s senior stars.
Balogun was also handed his professional debut last month, in a 15-minute Europa League cameo versus Irish outfit Dundalk.
It has therefore come as something of a surprise that, to this point, Arsenal have been unable to tie their prodigious young hitman down to a new contract at the club.
In fact, with Balogun’s current deal in north London set to expire next summer, widespread speculation during the summer suggested that those in a position of power at the Emirates had come to the decision to cash in on the striker, rather than lose him for nothing in less than a year’s time.
In the end, though, evidently, sufficient offers for Balogun were not forthcoming.
Sheffield United were one such club rumoured to have seen a bid knocked back, with the Blades having been understandably surprised – given the circumstances – to hear of Arsenal’s supposed £15 million price-tag.
If the latest word surrounding the starlet’s future is to be believed, though, then the firm stance of the Gunners could soon be set to pay off.
As revealed by the reliable David Ornstein of the Athletic, talks with Balogun over a new deal are now back underway.
This comes with Mikel Arteta having requested for the attacker to stay put, having evidently been impressed by what he has seen over the last couple of months.
In turn, for the first time in some time, there now appears to be genuine optimism surrounding the possibility of Balogun remaining in north London.
Folarin Balogun looked set to leave Arsenal after no agreement could be reached to extend a contract that expires next summer. But #AFC have now reopened talks & although there’s no guarantee it’ll happen, Mikel Arteta wants the 19yo to stay @TheAthleticUK https://t.co/jTkp1AoIrH
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) November 23, 2020
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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