Mikel Arteta looks set to follow his own precedent, by offering Folarin Balogun the chance to stay at Arsenal. While the club would still need to resolve his contract situation, the Spaniard has made it clear that he would like to continue working with the striker, sparking new hope that he could yet stay in north London.
Contract talks broke down between the two parties this summer and Arsenal told Balogun that he was free to find a new club.
Sheffield United were public about their interest but still Arsenal seemed reluctant to let him leave.
Balogun hit 10 goals in 15 matches last season for the Under-23s and is widely regarded as one of the club’s best young talents.
His hard work was rewarded by Arteta last night, who handed him his first-team debut against Dundalk in the Europa League.
His fine form including man of the match displays in the FA Cup final against Chelsea and Community Shield against Liverpool was enough to convince Arteta he deserved to stay.
A similar story unfolded with Rob Holding, who looked poised to join Newcastle on loan.
The centre-back starred on the opening day of the season as Arsenal beat Fulham 3-0 and after the game, Arteta made his feelings known.
Arteta said: “I said to him ‘change your mind, because you’re not going anywhere’.