Press conference

Arteta - Balogun is part of our future

The international break was a largely successful one for much of the Arsenal squad, including those currently loaned away from the club.

One of those is academy product Folarin Balogun, who joined Championship side Middlesbrough on loan in January, and has scored twice in his last four outings at club level.
 
The 20-year-old striker continued that good form while with England Under-21s last week, scoring in a 4-1 win over Andorra, then netting twice more in a 3-0 win against Albania four days later.
 
And talking in his pre-match press conference on Thursday, Mikel Arteta said his loan deal is proving hugely beneficial so far.
 
"I think Flo is doing what he needed to do, and probably we should have done it a little bit earlier," the boss said.
 
"It's always a bit difficult to time when is the best moment to do that. But he’s having the right exposure, he’s playing in a different formation and sometimes a different role under a manager and a club with huge history.
 
"You can see how he is developing. This is going to give us more detail about what is the next best move for him to keep developing, because he has developed and we want him to be part of our future.
 
"He needed a pathway, he needs that exposure. He needs to go through good and difficult moments, and he needs to be able to adapt and find himself in the dressing room, and develop the importance that is required to play at this level. I think he is doing all of that really well."
 

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