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Arteta offers update on promising Arsenal youngster’s future

Arsenal, Folarin Balogun
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The highly-rated 19-year-old can leave Arsenal as a free agent once his contract expires at the end of the season.

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is ‘very positive’ Folarin Balogun will commit his future to the club despite the looming prospect of free agency.

Balogun is a product of Arsenal’s famed Hale End academy. He has been part of the club since the age of eight, starred at youth level, and signed his first professional contract in February 2019.

But the New York-born striker has only made five appearances at senior level, which all came under Arteta this season in the Europa League and EFL Cup.

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Based on recent discussions, however, the Gunners boss is optimistic Balogun will remain at the Emirates Stadium for the foreseeable future.

“I’m still very positive that Flo is going to stay with us and it’s what we’re trying to do as a club, and it’s what I’m trying to do as a manager,” said Arteta in a press conference on Friday afternoon.

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“As far as I know from last week, the player wants to be here, so I’m positive. I think he’s made some big progress in a few months.”

Several clubs have expressed an interest in signing Balogun in the past, including Bundesliga club RB Leipzig.

Arsenal, meanwhile, will face Leeds United in a Premier League match on Sunday.

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