Folarin Balogun sends message to Mikel Arteta after Arsenal’s FA Cup exit

Folarin Balogun picked the perfect time to remind Mikel Arteta that he's knocking on the door at Arsenal
Folarin Balogun picked the perfect time to remind Mikel Arteta that he’s knocking on the first-team door at Arsenal (Getty/EPA)

Folarin Balogun has sent a reminder to Arsenal fans and Mikel Arteta of his quality just minutes after the club were dumped out of the FA Cup by Southampton on Saturday.

The 19-year-old’s contract situation remains an ongoing issue for the Gunners as he has entered the final six months of his deal and has not yet reached an agreement over fresh terms.

Arsenal remain hopeful of securing a new contract but the forward has attracted interest from several clubs, including Liverpool and RB Leipzig.

Balogun delivered another impressive performance for Arsenal’s Under-23s on Friday night as he scored a hat-trick in a 5-0 victory over Brighton.

The pick of Balogun’s goals was a fine individual effort as he weaved through Brighton’s defence before he beat the goalkeeper with an excellent finish.

Some Arsenal supporters were unhappy to see Balogun left out of the squad for Arsenal’s FA Cup fixture on Saturday, and just moments after the 1-0 defeat to Southampton, the young forward appeared to send a clear message to Arteta by posting a clip of his goal from Friday night with a facepalm emoji on his Instagram page.

It’s understood that Balogun is considering his future at Arsenal due to his lack of first-team opportunities.

The 19-year-old has made five first-team appearances this season but Arteta is adamant that the striker is showing clear signs of progress.

‘If anything, regarding his contractual situation with the club, I just wanted to convince him that he has a future at the club, not send him the opposite message,’ said Arteta.

Gabriel's own goal sealed Southampton's 1-0 win over Arsenal in the FA Cup
Gabriel’s own goal sealed Southampton’s 1-0 win over Arsenal in the FA Cup (Getty)

‘Before he wasn’t training with the first team, we changed that and he’s been training with us a lot.

‘He’s improving every single day, he’s showing a real hunger and decided to be with us. We’re trying to get something done because we want him to stay and we have to go step-by-step.

‘I think he’s made some big steps in the last few months, where he wasn’t even training and then he had a few good games for us.

‘So the steps are there in every way and we want to try to keep him.’

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