The 19-year-old has committed his future to the Gunners after looking like he may leave on a free
Arsenal have confirmed that Folarin Balogun has signed a contract extension with the club.
The 19-year-old has impressed this season in limited first team appearances averaging a goal every 63 minutes in the Europa League this season.
However, with the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli all seemingly blocking the centre forward’s pathway to the first team it appeared as though he was going to leave on a free at the end of this season when his previous deal expired after attracting interest from several different clubs across the UK and Europe.
But now Balogun has committed his future to the club he has been at since the age of eight by putting pen to paper on an agreement that will last until 2025.
“It’s great that Flo will continue to be with us,” said Arsenal’s technical director Edu.
“He is a very promising young talent and has already shown so much quality in his performances. We are all looking forward to working with him during his continued development in the coming years.”
“We have been extremely impressed with Flo this season,” added Mikel Arteta.
“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 match days.”
“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.”
While, as with all contract negotiations, money played a factor in the 19-year-old’s decision to stay, football.london understands that game time was always his biggest concern.
It is here that Mikel Arteta and Edu reportedly played a key role in convincing Balogun that Arsenal was the best place for him continue his development.
“Just trying to, first of all understand, why he got to the point that he was really thinking about leaving the football club after being raise here and the feelings that he has built towards the club,” said Arteta when asked to explain how the club had convinced the Hale Ender to change his mind.
“Once you understand the position of him try to explain what you want to do, how involved he’s going to be in the project and how.
“And then get the full commitment from the club and support and Edu, who I think has done an incredible job as well.”
Despite still being yet to make his Premier League debut Balgoun is highly rated within the club and is expected to be part of the first team set up going forward.
He made his first appearance for the Gunners since December in the 4-0 victory over Slavia Prague last Thursday and football.london understands that despite not making the squad for the draw with Fulham on Sunday, the 19-year-old was in attendance for the game at the Emirates.
It is unclear as of yet what this means for the future of Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah who will both have one year remaining on their Arsenal deals at the end of this season.
Arteta has said that contract negotiations with Lacazette will begin in the summer, while there have been no developments on a new deal for Nketiah at time of writing.