Press conference

'Balogun is a player I want to stay at the club'


Having given Folarin Balogun his first-team debut against Dundalk last month, Mikel Arteta knows all about his qualities.

The teenage forward has made a big impression at academy level, and our manager is keen for him to commit his future to the club.

"He is a player that I want to stay at the club," Arteta said. "I love working with young players. You can see the talent is there, the ambition is there and he can fit with our structure and progress in the future.

"He's part of the DNA and myself and the club are working to try to extend his contract. We're trying to change the situation that we are in at the moment with him, and trying to convince him that this is the right place for him.

"The moment that I started to see more of the player and change certain things that I didn't agree with, we decided to give it a go, tried to convince the player, try to show him what we want to do with him, why he fits in with what we are trying to do at the club.

"The young talent and the top talent that we produce at the academy is with the final aim to put them in the first team.

"When I signed for this club it was one of the things that excited me the most because I love to work with them and it's part of our DNA and the history of the club. When we have them, let's keep them and we really think they are players that can take us to the next level."

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