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Mikel Arteta offers cryptic response on future of 21-year-old Arsenal star

The Gunners boss wouldn’t be drawn on the situation

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has claimed that a decision is yet to be made on young talent Folarin Balogun, and that the USMNT star will be assessed while on their pre-season tour before they decide the best course of action.

During his season on loan in Ligue 1 Balogun found the net an impressive 22 times as well as providing three assists, shooting himself into the spotlight of plenty of European sides in the process.

Inter Milan are believed to be the side leading the interest, and are prepared to offer 40m euros for the star should Arsenal decide to sell. Currently behind Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus in the pecking order in north London, Arteta’s job has been made harder by Balogun’s insistence that he won’t be going out on loan again this season and his demands for first team football, meaning that Arsenal either integrate him into the first team or agree to let him leave.

To that end, Arteta has revealed that he will use the pre-season tour of Balogun’s new nation to come to a decision on the matter.

Asked about a potential move away, he told FootballDaily: “Now we’ve to think what is best to do. We want to see him, we want to experience him in the next few games”

Arsenal face the MLS all-stars on Thursday, before games against Manchester United and Barcelona in the next 10 days. Balogun, who played the second half against German outfit Nuremberg, is likely to be handed significant minutes in all three games in a bid to nail his colours to the mast and allow Arsenal to come to a decision on the starlet.

“We’ll have to see how things develop in the next couple of weeks. There’s still time to do things – for exits as well”, he added.


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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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