Mikel Arteta says Arsenal had to undo a ‘really complicated’ situation before they could convince Folarin Balogun to extend his contract.
Arsenal academy striker Folarin Balogun signed a new long-term contract with the club this week, with the player himself confirming on his social media pages that the new deal is to 2025.
That’s a big boost for the club, as they now have plenty of time to integrate the striker into the first team. We’ve already seen the evidence of his talent this season, and Mikel Arteta was rightly keen to make sure it wasn’t wasted somewhere else.
But although it’s all ended well, Arteta says there was a lot of work to do to get here from where they started.
“It’s done, we’re really happy about it, really excited about it,” Arteta began. “It took a while because we had to undo a really complicated situation that was developing.
“I think the club made a big effort, I think Edu made a great job and with Flo and his agent, we were able to find the right agreement for him to stay.”
Last June, it seemed like the situation was at a complete dead end. At that point, Ornstein reported that talks were off and the player would likely leave in the summer.
Things reportedly fell apart in talks with former Arsenal contract negotiator Huss Fahmy in early 2020, and it took a while to rebuild the bridges with Balogun’s camp.
Fortunately, they managed it and he’s now in contention for the Europa League semi-final squad on Thursday.