‘I always try to advise them’ – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang praises Arsenal contract rebel Folarin Balogun

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang praises Arsenal contract rebel Folarin Balogun
The Gunners skipper hopes his young understudy can learn from his example (Pictures: Getty Images)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has hailed Arsenal contract rebel Folarin Balogun as a ‘great talent’ and urged him to keep working hard and take his chances in the first team when they come.

The 19-year-old’s current deal with the Gunners expires next year and talks over an extension have stalled with the teenager frustrated with his lack of first-team opportunities and considering a move away.

But Balogun, who has been prolific at all youth levels for Arsenal, finally made his senior debut as a second-half substitute in Arsenal’s 3-0 Europa League win over Dundalk last week.

Flo Balogun Arsenal FC v Dundalk FC: Group B - UEFA Europa League
Balogun was involved with the first team in the Europa League last week (Picture: Getty)

Fans are keen to see the youngster given another run out against Molde tonight and Aubameyang is no different, with the Gunners skipper a huge fan of Balogun and clearly keen for him to remain at the club.

‘We saw the young boys do well in the last game in the Europa League against Dundalk,’ Aubameyang wrote in Arsenal’s matchday programme ahead of Thursday’s game.

‘They are ready. They showed that in that game. That’s why we are doing well – because everybody is preparing properly and ready when needed.

‘Flo Balogun was one of those who came on in the last game. He is very, very talented, for sure, and he shows every time he plays with us that he’s a really great talent.

‘He works hard and is a humble guy as well. I love his style – he’s like an American rapper – he’s cool!

‘We get on well, I don’t see him that much, but when he trains with us we have a laugh, with Laca as well.

‘Maybe I am a mentor now to these younger players when they watch me training or in the games. I will always try to advise them when I can, but I’m a guy who likes to do jokes first!

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal FC - Press Conference And Training Session
Aubameyang had a contract saga of his own before renewing in the summer (Picture: Getty)

‘But of course I can give any words to them that will help them, I will always do that.

‘It’s nice to be a mentor because before I was in their place and now I’m older, I think the most important thing is to show an example on the pitch.

‘It’s not about talking all the time, it’s about showing what you can do on the pitch, what you can do in training.

‘They just have to see that, put in their bags and play their game.’

MORE : Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hails ‘unbelievable’ Mohamed Elneny after Arsenal’s win over Manchester United

MORE : Mikel Arteta sends message to Arsenal contract rebel Folarin Balogun

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