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'natural ability' Arsenal's Mikel Arteta challenges Folarin Balogun to keep improving after signing new deal

Balogun is tipped for a bright future despite having not yet made his league debut for Arsenal.

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Folarin Balogun has signed a new contract at Arsenal. (Tim Goode/PA)

Folarin Balogun has signed a new contract at Arsenal. (Tim Goode/PA)

Folarin Balogun has signed a new contract at Arsenal. (Tim Goode/PA)

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has hailed the “natural ability” of Folarin Balogun after the highly rated striker signed a new deal at the Emirates Stadium.

Balogun, 19, is tipped for a bright future despite having not yet made his league debut for the Gunners – although he has scored twice in six cup appearances for the senior side.

The US-born England youth international had looked set to leave north London when his previous deal expired at the end of the season but has now committed his future to the club.

“We have been extremely impressed with Flo this season,” Arteta said.

“He has continually shown his natural ability in many training sessions with us and we have been equally impressed with his early integration into the first-team squad on matchdays.

“He has given us glimpses with the performances and of course with his two goals already for the first team.

“The hard work starts here for Flo and we are all looking forward to supporting and working with him in the years to come.”

With Balogun’s future tied up, it remains to be seen what will happen for fellow forward Eddie Nketiah in the summer.

Another player to rise up the ranks at the club, the 21-year-old has seen first-team opportunities limited in recent times and has been linked with a move away this summer.


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