Arteta confirms Arsenal are working to extend Folarin Balogun’s contract & Pepe still has a future at the club

Arteta confirms Arsenal are working to extend Folarin Balogun’s contract & Pepe still has a future at the club

Balogun talks reopen

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta spoke ahead his side’s Europa League fixture with Molde, and confirmed that the club are working on an extension to Folarin Balogun’s contract.

The 19-year-old scored 34 goals in 33 appearances for Arsenal’s under-18 side, and has 15 more in 36 under-23 appearances in the Premier League 2.

It was previously reported that Balogun had failed to agree a contract extension in north London. With assurances regarding first-team football not yet forthcoming, interest was received from both Brentford and Sheffield United. However, Arsenal have rejected all approaches to this date, and are now more confident of tying down the young star:

“Yes, he is a player that I want. He is a player that I want to stay at the club. I love working with young players. You can see the talent is there, the ambition is there and he can fit with our stricture and progress in the future. He’s part of the DNA and myself and the club are working to try to extend his contract.”

“We’re trying to change the situation that we are in at the moment with him, and trying to convince him that this is the right place for him.” said Arteta at his pre-match press conference.

Balogun has a congested route ahead of him, with Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah, Tyreese John-Jules and Nikolaj Moller all options up top across Arsenal’s youth and senior teams.

Pepe still wanted

Mikel Arteta remained headstrong regarding Nicolas Pepe’s position at the club, after the Ivorian was sent off against Leeds United last weekend.

“No, it’s absolutely not,” said Arteta when asked if Pepe’s time at Arsenal could be coming to an end. “It’s not about that and I don’t like that type of statement. I will give Nico my full support all the time.”

Arteta confirms Arsenal are working to extend Folarin Balogun’s contract & Pepe still has a future at the club

Arsenal’s French-born Ivorian midfielder Nicolas Pepe (L) is shown a red card by atch Referee Anthony Taylor (2R) during the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Arsenal at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on November 22, 2020. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / POOL / AFP)

“He knows where he has to improve and we all know his qualities. He has some responsibility, I have a lot of responsibility, which is to get the best out of him and get the best position for him, the best areas where he can do what he can do with the ball. I cannot fault his effort at all.”

“You see the way he strives for the team, the way he’s working, it’s been the best since he’s been at the club. But there have been some aspects he can do better in because he has the ability. That’s where I’m going to put the pressure on him to deliver what he can do. To say it’s a threat for him to finish his career… it’s not at all like that.”

Both Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Ozil have of course suffered the wrath of Arteta over recent months, with both having been frozen out at Arsenal. Guendouzi left the club to join Hertha Berlin on loan, following a number of disciplinary issues. Ozil, meanwhile, was not included in Arteta’s squads for either the Premier League or Europa League.

Arsenal knock back Sheffield United bid for Folarin Balogun amid claims of hefty price-tag

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


This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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Southampton vs Arsenal Full time result
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