Arsenal have confirmed that exciting young prospect Folarin Balogun has signed a new four-year deal with the club.
The 19-year-old has made six appearances so far this season, scoring two goals.
Arsenal Striker Folarin Balogun Signs New Contract
One for the Future
Balogun is highly-rated by Arsenal and is considered as one for the future.
The 19-year-old’s previous contract was set to expire this summer, but he will now be one of several young talents to help guide the Gunners into the future.
While Balogun has featured sporadically at times this season, the key to persuading him to stay has been the promise of more minutes in the first team. He has spent the majority of this season playing for Arsenal U23’s where he has made 17 appearances.
However, he has impressed when featuring for Mikel Arteta’s side this season. According to Football.London, Balogun has averaged a goal every 63 minutes in his limited appearances so far this season, showing signs of his talent and potential at the age of 19.
Following the announcement of his new deal, Arteta continued to shine praise on the youngster. The Spaniard said to the Arsenal club website: “We have been extremely impressed with Flo this season. He has continually shown his natural ability in many training sessions with us and we have been equally impressed with his early integration into the first-team squad on matchdays.
“He has given us glimpses with the performances and of course with his two goals already for the first team.
“The hard work starts here for Flo and we are all looking forward to supporting and working with him in the years to come.”
Balogun added: “My ambitions for next season are to make an impact in the first team. I see it as something that I’ve taken upon myself to be able to go over there and make an impact, not just be one of the numbers.
“I want to be somebody who eventually leads that group, so I would say I have quite driven ambitions. We’ll see if I can make them happen.”
Sign of the Future for Arsenal?
Having not experienced Champions League football since the 2016/17, Balogun’s new contract may be a sign of Arsenal’s future in the transfer market.
The Gunners will have to savvy in the transfer market, with budget cuts due to not only no Champions League football but also the Coronavirus pandemic.
As a result, the Gunners may look to promote from within when they deem players talented enough. The 19-year-old is one of several players promoted to the first-team from the academy this season, as Mikel Arteta looks to put his faith in the squad’s younger players.
Balogun may be joined by a fellow academy product in signing a new contract. According to David Ornstein of The Athletic, midfielder Emile Smith Rowe is close to signing a new deal.
The 20-year-old, who has made 30 appearances in all competitions so far this season, will reportedly commit to a new long-term deal with the North London club.
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