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Arteta reveals why he didn’t pick Balogun for the Barcelona game amid rumours on his future

Arteta reveals why he didn’t pick Balogun for the Barcelona game amid rumours on his future



( Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta / Photo via Getty )

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has shed light on why Folarin Balogun did not feature in their recent pre-season friendly against Barcelona, despite the player being heavily linked with a potential exit from the club this summer. Balogun’s absence from the squad left many Arsenal fans curious about his situation and future at the club.

Speaking about Balogun’s absence, Arteta explained that the young striker was unavailable due to a foot injury. He also revealed that Balogun had not been training with the team, which further hindered his chances of featuring in the friendly match against Barcelona. Arteta emphasized that for Balogun to have a role in the team, he needs to be fit and available to play minutes.

“He wasn’t available – he had a little foot injury and he hasn’t been training with us and he wasn’t available to us, that was the reason,” Arteta stated during an interview with Arsenal’s official website. “Yeah [he has a role], we will have to see. First of all, he has to be fit and available to play minutes.”

Balogun’s absence from the pre-season friendly raised questions about his future at Arsenal. The 22-year-old forward had an impressive loan spell at French Ligue 1 side Reims during the 2022-23 season, where he scored an impressive 21 league goals. This performance caught the attention of many clubs, leading to speculation about a potential transfer away from Arsenal.

However, despite his successful loan spell, Balogun’s return to Arsenal does not guarantee him game time next season. The Gunners are yet to make a decision on whether they will offer him regular playing opportunities or potentially send him out on loan again.

The young striker possesses immense talent and has shown great promise during his time at Reims. His goal-scoring ability and overall contribution were crucial for Reims’ success last season. Arsenal fans have been eager to see Balogun given a chance in the first team, especially considering the club’s need for attacking reinforcements.

With Arteta’s comments about Balogun needing to be fit and available, it is clear that the manager values the player’s potential contribution. However, it remains to be seen whether Balogun will be given an opportunity to showcase his abilities in competitive matches next season.

As Arsenal continue their pre-season preparations and approach the start of the new campaign, all eyes will be on Balogun’s situation. Fans will eagerly await updates on his fitness and whether he will be included in Arteta’s plans for the upcoming season.

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