Folorain Balogun has thanked Mikel Arteta for showing the faith in him that appears to have convinced the youngster that his long-term future lies at Arsenal.
The teenage striker appeared destined to leave his boyhood club this summer with his contract entering its final year and his path into the first team blocked by the likes of Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette.
Sheffield United were understood to have lodged a £3million bid for the 19-year-old in the summer, while several Bundesliga clubs were said to be monitoring his situation with interest.
Balogun, however, has had a change of heart since Arteta’s decision to bring him into the squad for the recent Europa League matches and the forward, who has been prolific at academy level, rewarded his manager’s faith by scoring his first senior goal against Molde last night.
‘I’m feeling really happy, it shows that all the hard work I’ve put in over the years is just starting to pay off,” Balogun told Arsenal.com after the 3-0 win which booked Arsenal’s place in the knockout stage.
‘It’s important that I keep working hard to enjoy more moments like this.
‘I didn’t think that particular [break for the goal] was going to be my chance, but I always try to stay ready and I’m happy that on this occasion it paid off.
‘I just need to keep on learning, keep on adding to my game and I’m happy that I could contribute today.’