Mikel Arteta’s January transfer decision presents Arsenal with fresh team selection dilemma


Arsenal are expected to make several players available for loan in January.

As revealed by football.london, the Gunners plan to send out several youngsters to develop elsewhere with their first-team game-time limited.

The Gunners will send out several youngsters on loan in January, with Folarin Balogun in demand after his goalscoring performances for the under-23s over the past season.

Despite the 18-year-old striker signing a contract extension last summer, he has found his opportunities to be limited.

The youngster started on the opening day defeat against Brentford but hasn’t started a game since and has made one substitute appearance in the league.

What has Balogun said?

“The boss just tells me to keep faith,” Balogun told Stadium Astro.

“Part of the reason why I signed is because I have faith in him and the project he’s trying to do.

“Of course the boss has a style of play and philosophy like every other coach would. But it’s just a case of believing in what he says.

“It’s clear the ambition he has for the club, he wants us back in Europe and fighting for top trophies and competing at the highest level again.”

What did Balogun’s brother say?

“When you look at that striker problem, in terms of chances created, it’s not just Folarin,” he said. “It was there when Martinelli was playing there when Aubameyang was playing there… the system doesn’t work.

“You can’t blame one player for that; it’s more the actual systematic thing.



Folarin Balogun in action for Arsenal against Brentford
Folarin Balogun started for Arsenal against Brentford.

“Whenever I talk to Folarin, I tell him to keep going, but the system just doesn’t really work at the moment.

“Soon it will work, there will be a movement, and you’ve got to be ready when it does.

“At the same time, there’s nothing really you can do, you just have to support, keep on talking and keep telling him to keep maintaining.”

What has Arteta said?

“He made his debut against Brentford and he played the following game against Chelsea as well,” said Arteta. “It’s been a big step for him in the last few months.

“He did all the pre-season with us, so he’s already learnt a lot in a few months.

“He’s another player in the squad who has to fight for his place and ensure he’s available to do that.”

What does it mean for Arsenal’s transfer business?

Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are both expected to leave Arsenal when their contracts expire next summer.

Lacazette’s representatives have signalled to the club that the Frenchman won’t be signing a new deal, although Arsenal have no plans to extend his deal.

Arteta has assured Balogun of first-team minutes this season and football.london understands that the north London giants will attempt to sign a new forward in the coming transfer windows.

Whilst Balogun’s short-term future may not be at Emirates Stadium, there can be no doubt that the Hale End star is considered as one of the most exciting youngsters at the club – and it’s just a matter of time before he gets his chance.





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