Folarin Balogun’s future in doubt with no room for striker in Arteta’s rotated Arsenal squad

Folarin Balogun’s future in doubt with no room for striker in Arteta’s rotated Arsenal squad

No Balogun

Folarin Balogun has been one of Arsenal’s most clinical strikers this season, scoring twice in just over an hour of football. Whilst lining out for both the club’s under-23s, and in the Europa League, Balogun has showcased qualities which Arteta’s side have been lacking.

The Gunners sit in 15th position in the Premier League table ahead of their upcoming meeting with Southampton, and Arteta has since decided to pick both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Eddie Nketiah in his starting eleven to face the Saints. Alexandre Lacazette has dropped to the bench after failing to score again versus Burnley, from a deeper second striker role than he has typically been used to.

There was previously a tease from Balogun, who has not even been selected on the bench for Arsenal this evening, that he could play some part versus Southampton. The youth player simply posted “Sooon” on his Twitter account, with a skull and crossbones emoji alongside.

Could this hint instead mean that the player’s future is in doubt? His omission from the the Arsenal squad tonight could well serve as further evidence of such a situation.

Balogun ‘wants’ Arsenal stay

Mikel Arteta has previously been adamant that both he and Arsenal are working on a new deal for Balogun, even insinuating that the player himself wants to stay:

“Well we’re having some discussions with the player. He knows that we want to retain him at the club. We know the length of his contract at the moment is an issue but we’re trying to resolve it in the best possible way. We want him to stay.”

“He said to me he wants to stay at the club so hopefully we can reach an agreement and extend his contract.”

Yet, to this point, no contract has yet been signed, with few recent signs having pointed towards the suggestion that Balogun is indeed going to remain an Arsenal player.

With Nketiah, Nikolaj Moller and Tyreece John-Jules (currently on loan with Doncaster) all vying for a future in a striking position at the club, the Gunners face a tough task in persuading Balogun to stay.

Folarin Balogun’s future in doubt with no room for striker in Arteta’s rotated Arsenal squad

Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal during the Carabao Cup match between Leicester City and Arsenal at the King Power Stadium, Leicester, England on 23rd September 2020. (Photo by Leila Coker/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Arguably, Arsenal have a sellable asset in Nketiah – whose current deal runs beyond the upcoming summer. Balogun, on the other hand, will be free to leave at the season’s end as things stand.

Should Arsenal manage to convince Balogun to stay, Nketiah could be sold for a sizeable fee. Rhian Brewster left Liverpool for more than £20 million despite not playing a single Premier League minute for the club’s first-team, whereas Arsenal’s England under-21 international has plenty of experience, including Premier League goals.

The north Londoners need to focus on the retention of key young assets, whilst moving on ‘deadwood’ as quickly as possible.

Arsenal hint that Folarin Balogun & Emile Smith-Rowe could play against Rapid Vienna in the Europa League

Arsenal boost as contract talks back underway with highly-regarded Balogun


This article was edited by Conor Laird.

Arsenal betting odds, next game:

Southampton vs Arsenal odds: result, both teams to score, correct score & goalscorers

Southampton vs Arsenal Full time result
Southampton
11/5
Draw
12/5
Arsenal
5/4
Southampton vs Arsenal Result/Both teams score Yes No
Southampton 5/1 9/2
Arsenal 7/2
Draw 10/3 9/1
Southampton vs Arsenal Correct Score
Southampton
Arsenal
Southampton vs Arsenal Goalscorers First Last Anytime
Danny Ings7/4 7/4 6/5
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang7/4 7/4 6/5
Alexandre Lacazette21/10 21/10 5/4
Eddie Nketiah9/4 9/4 7/5
Folarin Balogun3/1 3/1 2/1

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