FA Cup: Balogun to start against Newcastle confirms Arteta


Nigeria born England junior international Folarin Balogun is assured of a starting shirt when the Gunners face Newcastle in Saturday’s FA cup Clash.

Arsenal Coach Mikel Arteta gave the hint Thursday during a news conference noting that the 19 year old has been in an impressive shape this season.

Balogun has scored two goals in four Europa league appearances from the bench this season and has a 77th-minute substitute in Arsenal’s 4-1 Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester City last month.

Arteta is hoping that Balogun would stay beyond the remaining six months of his contract at the Emirates but lamented that the stand of his unnamed agent has continued to be a stumbling block, insisting that Balogun wants to stay a position which appears to be different from the desires of his agent.

“The club wants to make a deal, the manager wants to make a deal, the player wants to stay and I’m not sure about the agent.

“We are negotiating with an agent, with a player that wants to stay at the club and we need to find an agreement.

“I’m telling you that we are doing everything we can to keep him here and hopefully from the other part they are doing the same and in the same interest, which is the player’s interest which is to stay at the football club and be successful with us.” he submitted.

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Balogun whose parents are Nigerians was born in New York City and was taken to England at age two where he eventually grew up. He began with Arsenal at the age of eight intermittently playing with previous Sunday side

Aldersbrook and trained with North London rivals Tottenham Hostspur coming close to signing for them.

He eventually signed a professional contract with the Gunners in February 2019, made his senior debut for the club in Europa League tie on 29 October 2020, coming on as a substitute in the 74th minute in a group stage match against Dundalk.

Former Nigeria U-20 coach Paul Aigbogun once described Balogun the kind of striker any team should pray to have

“I know most of the Arsenal players and this is a very talented player to have in any team, “he had told BBC sport in March last year.

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