There is every chance Folarin Balogun could make his Premier League debut for Arsenal this weekend.
The Guardian reports that Balogun is close to signing a new long-term contract with the Gunners.
The striker’s current deal expires this summer, but he’s been convinced to stay by head coach Mikel Arteta.
This is despite the fact a host of other clubs have shown interest in Balogun; including Sheffield United.
There were said to have been positive discussions between the two sides about the 19-year-old – who was valued at around £15m.
However, this was before the club record signing of Rhian Brewster.
Balogun remained a prime target for several sides across Europe. At one point as many as 15 teams were said to be interested in signing the youngster.
Yet now it seems as if Balogun is staying put. And could well get to show United exactly what they’re missing.
Why Balogun could make Premier League debut for Arsenal
The Blades host Arteta’s men at Bramall Lane on Sunday as the season enters its final couple of months.
Arsenal are currently 10 points off the top four and Champions League qualification. But they also remain in the Europa League – a competition which would also see them qualify if they win it.
Therefore, it’s believed Arteta may concentrate keeping his key players fit for European fixtures.
Which, in turn, could grant more league minutes to promising youngsters.
That includes Balogun, who has scored eight goals in 16 appearances for the Under-23s this term.
The forward has played five times for the first team in 2020/21 as well. That’s included four Europa League appearances from the bench and despite it only totalling 61 minutes, Balogun has scored twice.
But the England Under-20 international is yet to feature in the top flight of English football.
With the futures of both Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah at the Emirates Stadium also in doubt as they near the final year of their current contracts, that makes Balogun playing this weekend even more likely.