In a rather surprising turnaround, Folarin Balogun is now close to signing a new four-year contract with Arsenal, according to reports.

Folarin Balogun faces off against the Leicester City u23s (Photo via Arsenal Academy on Twitter)
Folarin Balogun faces off against the Leicester City u23s (Photo via Arsenal Academy on Twitter)

On Friday morning, Adrian Kajumba of the Daily Mail initially broke the news that Arsenal were on the verge of agreeing a new long-term contract with Folarin Balogun. The striker was reportedly convinced to stay by Mikel Arteta.

As we know, Balogun has a contract until the end of the season, but after that, he’d be available as a free agent. VfB Stuttgart, AS Monaco, Manchester City, Everton, and Crystal Palace were all reportedly in the mix for Balogun if he decided to leave.

But despite appearing close to an exit on a number of occasions, the 19-year-old is now just resolving a few final details on an extension.

Sky Sports then corroborated the news, reporting that Balogun is close to a new contract. They claim both Arteta and technical director Edu have convinced him his future is at the Emirates Stadium.

James Benge also added that he understands Arsenal are moving towards an agreement on a new contract. David Ornstein and James McNicholas report for The Athletic that an agreement is finally in place for a four-year deal.

It would obviously be a big boost to see Balogun extend. In my opinion, it would be a good thing for all parties.

Balogun is a talented young striker who has taken his senior chances and is in good form for the u23s right now. He could be a valuable asset to Arsenal if he stays, but more importantly, he could have a positive impact on the first team.

As for Balogun, he should be looking at the uncertain situations of Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette, as well as the variable form of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and realising he has a chance to break through sooner rather than later if he commits.

It seems to be his contract situation holding him back right now, whilst other youngsters on long-term deals get chances. The sooner he extends, the sooner the focus shifts to getting him opportunities.