Balogun not in Arsenal academy squad day after Benik Afobe tells striker to leave Gunners

Afobe urges Balogun to leave

Former Arsenal striker and youth product Benik Afobe has suggested that forward Folarin Balogun should follow his lead and leave the Gunners in order to succeed.

“It all depends on your positioning and who’s ahead of you… Balogun, he’s good, I’ve seen him play,” Afobe said to The Beautiful Game Podcast.

“I think it’s the right decision for him to leave. The captain [Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang] is a number nine, the other number nine is top goalscorer this season, [Alexandre] Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah is a couple of years older than him and has also done well.”

Afobe left Arsenal, after failing to earn a first team place, for Wolves in 2015 but is now on loan from Stoke in Turkey with Trabzonspor where he has scored 4 league goals in 21 appearances.

“If you want to keep waiting for your chance, before you know it you’re 23, and teams, managers will start picking up players who are more experienced in the Championship, who have 100 appearances to their name, instead of the guy from Arsenal who has played for England Under-19s. And that’s kind of what’s happened to me as well.”

There is still time for the Gunners to convince Balogun to stay but the words of Afobe will certainly not help their cause.

Balogun left out

Balogun has been playing in the under-23s since his last appearance in the League Cup quarter-final loss to Manchester City.

In this period, The Gunners have been attempting and failing so far to convince the forward to sign a new contract with the club which expires currently in the summer of 2021.

However in the last Youth League match against Manchester City, Balogun was left out of the side entirely without explanation.

Reiss Nelson, who did not leave the club on loan in January like Joe Willock, was in the side along with young forward Nikolaj Moller. But Balogun was nowhere to be found.

Arteta recently spoke about his optimism at the New York-born striker remaining at the club.

“I’m still very positive that Flo is going to stay with us and it’s what we’re trying to do as a club, and it’s what I’m trying to do as a manager. As far as I know from last week, the player wants to be here, so I’m positive. I think he’s made some big progress in a few months,” he said.

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Afobe urges Balogun to leaveFormer Arsenal striker and youth product Benik Afobe has suggested that forward Folarin Balogun should follow his lead and leave the Gunners in order to succeed.“It all depends on your positioning and who’s ahead of you… Balogun, he’s good, I’ve seen him play,” Afobe said to The Beautiful Game Podcast.“I thinkFootball (soccer) greatest goals and highlights | 101 Great Goals – Feed

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