Arsenal youngster ‘on the verge’ of signing new long-term deal

Arsenal youngster Folarin Balogun is close to signing a new long-term contract with the club, according to reports.

The 19-year-old signed his first professional contract with Arsenal in February 2019. He has represented England at youth level and he made his debut for the U20s last year.

Balogun has broken into Arsenal’s senior squad this season and he has played five times in cup and European competitions.

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The forward is currently one of the Gunners’ highest-rated youngsters. But he is out of contract this summer and he has been linked with the likes of Manchester City and Everton in recent months.

But Sportsmail are now reporting that Balogun is set to commit his future to Arsenal.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta was insistent last month that Balogun would stay with the Gunners:

“I think I am pretty positive about it and every time I spoke to him, he mentions the same thing, that he’s determined to stay here, that he wants to stay here.

“We have had some really positive conversations with his agent as well and Edu is in charge of that.

“He’s been spending a lot of time and energy to make that deal happen because it’s important for us to keep our talent in the house, and what we can guarantee is that we’re doing everything we can to keep him.”

Elsewhere, speaking after Arsenal’s draw against Slavia Prague, Martin Keown told BT Sport that it is as if players need a punch in the face to wake up:

“For me it was about Arsenal tonight and the way they played. By sitting off they chose the wrong tactics,” Keown told BT Sport.

“There was an opportunity to take the initiative and ask questions, can you play? But they were allowed to settle and build from the back.

“In the first-half it became nervy and they weren’t the team we saw just a few weeks ago against West Ham for instance. It seems like Arsenal are not proactive in games, they need someone to slap them or punch them in the face before they wake up and start to play.

“He (Arteta) did it in the second-half with the substitutions but they couldn’t see it through.”

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