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Mikel Arteta reveals Folarin Balogun’s ‘unique qualities’ and urges Arsenal youngster to ‘prove himself’ after agreeing new deal


The striker will now remain at the Emirates after months of uncertainty (Picture: Getty Images)

Folarin Balogun has agreed a new deal to extend his stay at the Emirates – and Mikel Arteta says the Arsenal youngster is a striker with many ‘unique qualities’.

Balogun, 19, looked set to depart from the north London club once his contract expired at the end of the season, but has now finally reached an agreement to stick around, with an official announcement expected imminently.

The Hale End academy graduate has been a prolific goalscorer at youth level but that hasn’t translated into regular first-team opportunities as of yet.

Arteta says it’s now up to the teenager to ‘prove himself’ (Picture: Getty Images)

Balogun has been limited to five substitute appearances in the Europa League this season, including a brief cameo in Thursday’s 4-0 victory over Slavia Prague.

But following the recent U-turn regarding Balogun’s future which will now see him stay at the club, Arteta urged the highly-rated teenager to ‘prove himself’ on the pitch.

‘In all aspects, he knows that we trust him and that we want to have a future together,’ Arteta told Sky Sports.

‘Then, we needed to link that with the people at the club, with the right support from Per [Mertesacker] and the academy, and with the work that Edu has done over the months to undo what was happening and the direction the situation was taking.

‘He has completely turned that over into a position where now the player is going to stay with us.’

‘He’s a very, very hungry boy,’ he added.

‘He wants to do everything. He wants to practice more every single day.

‘He has unique qualities as a striker – his speed and the way he holds the ball. He’s a real goal threat and he works tremendously hard.

‘He will be pushing anybody in our first team to get his spot and that’s exactly what we want.

‘He’s got the chance; now it’s time for him to prove himself. We have to give him the right support, which he will get, and then it’s up to him and what he does on the pitch.’


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