Folarin Balogun is pleased that Mikel Arteta is keeping an eye on him and plans to hold a conversation on his future in the summer.
Folarin Balogun is currently on loan with Stade de Reims in France, scoring 17 league goals and one cup goal in a prolific season so far.
That form raises the question of whether the striker stays with Arsenal ahead of next season, or they cash in on him while his value is high.
Arsenal shouldn’t be short of offers this summer, but they’ll have to decide whether to keep Balogun and extend his contract to make him part of Mikel Arteta’s long-term plans or to move him on.
In the meantime, Arteta has confirmed he’s tracking the 21-year-old’s progress, which Balogun is glad to hear.
“It’s really positive that he could say these things and I’m sure we’ll speak at the end of the season and we’ll have a lot of things to discuss,” Balogun said.
“It’s nice that he’s watching and paying attention to what’s going on.
“There’s discussions that need to take place, and it’s not a decision that will only be with me. The club will let me know their point of view and I’m sure we’ll come to an agreement.”
Stade de Reims president Jean-Pierre Caillot recently admitted a permanent deal for Balogun seems beyond the realms of possibility for their club, though he is still hopeful of another loan.
“I think [signing him] is impossible,” Caillot said. “Either Folarin will return to his club (Arsenal) to have his chance, he’s loaned out, or transferred to a very big club.
“We are already working on life after Balogun, the day when he will leave our club. But if he and the club are open to another year at Reims, we’ll do everything to make it happen.”
Balogun currently has a deal with Arsenal until 2025, so he still has more than two years to go. But loaning him out again without an extension would mean he wouldn’t return until his final 12 months.
It seems more likely he’ll either rejoin the first-team squad at Arsenal or leave on a permanent transfer, but we’ll have to wait for those summer talks to find out.