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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta must unleash Folarin Balogun after Dundalk masterclass

As soon as he came on, you just knew Folarin Balogun was going to make his mark.

The 19-year-old once again stepped on to the pitch for Arsenal as a second-half substitute, this time replacing Eddie Nketiah in the Gunners’ Europa League clash against Dundalk.

The teenager made his presence felt from the off, showing incredible touch and strength to link up the play, and he got himself an assist when he saw Joe Willock fire home from his set-up.

Is Balogun better than Nketiah?

Yes, 100%

Yes, 100%

Not yet!

Not yet!

And then came the moment that Arsenal fans probably knew was coming, coming in off the left flank and bending one into the bottom corner from Nicolas Pepe’s pass.

With Balogun’s contract coming to an end next summer, there is of course a big concern about what the future holds for him, but Mikel Arteta moved to play down those fears.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Arteta said: “Well, we’re having some discussions with the player he knows we want to retain him at the club. We know that the length of his contract at the moment is an issue, but we’re trying to resolve it in the best possible way. We want him to stay he said to me he wants to stay at the club, so hopefully we can reach an agreement and extend his contract.”

But the only way Arteta can truly convince Balogun that his long-term future still lies at Arsenal, is by playing him in the more meaningful games.

It’s all well and good playing him in the Europa League when Arsenal are playing against far inferior opponents and have cake-walked their group. It’s another to give him significant minutes in the competitions that matter the most, like the Premier League.

And it seemed like a lot of Arsenal fans agreed on just how talented Balogun really is.

With Gabriel Martinelli still slowly working his way back to fitness after considerable time away through injury, Balogun surely deserves the chance to play in the Premier League.

Article title: Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta must unleash Folarin Balogun after Dundalk masterclass

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