Balogun deal close
Arsenal are reportedly close to agreeing a new deal for highly coveted youth striker Folarin Balogun. Despite interest from many European and English clubs, the 19-year-old is set to commit his future to the Gunners.
Folarin Balogun is gonna turn down an important contract bid from Bayer Leverkusen to stay at Arsenal. RB Leipzig have never been in the race.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) April 9, 2021
But what does this mean for some of Arsenal’s other forwards and even the club’s summer transfer business?
Alexandre Lacazette has just one year left on his current deal at the end of the campaign and has struggled for form this season epitomised in the wasteful display against Slavia Prague in the Europa League on Thursday.
Despite Mikel Arteta responding positively to reports that the Frenchman being linked with other clubs, the news of Balogun’s contract could tempt the Spaniard into parting ways with the forward who turns 30 this year.
“I am always happy when people talk about our players and speculate on that. It means they are doing well and getting attention from other clubs,” said Arteta.
“The situation with Laca will get addressed in the summer. I will speak to him and just propose a future that we want and that’s it.”
Nketiah and Martinelli
Similar to Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah has his deal finish at the end of next season and has struggled to reintegrate himself back into the first team setup since dropping out of Arteta’s plans in the new year.
When given an opportunity in the first team, the England under-21 striker has failed to take these chances leading to him dropping back into the under-23 squad alongside the aforementioned Balogun.
— Arsenal Academy (@ArsenalAcademy) March 12, 2021
Martinelli has so far not been given too many chances this new year to show off what he is capable of since returning from injury. The Brazilian has been touted with moving to a more central striking role but Balogun’s extended residence may mean that a wider birth is where the former Ituano forward remains.
Whatever occurs, it is suddenly a good problem for Mikel Arteta to have and a credit to the coach in convincing Balogun to remain in North London as he maintained in press conferences.
Arteta confirms that Folarin Balogun’s agent is the biggest issue in keeping the young Arsenal striker who ‘wants to stay’
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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