Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun has admitted he is ready to establish himself within Arsenal’s first-team next season despite links to Inter Milan frontman Lautaro Martinez.
The 20-year-old signed a new long-term contract with the Gunners last season after months of speculation surrounding his future, having previously garnered interest from a host of European clubs before penning his new deal.
Balogun is one of four strikers in the Arsenal ranks, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah also seen as No.9s by manager Mikel Arteta.
However, there are doubts surrounding the futures of Nketiah and Lacazette, with The Athletic also reporting that the north London club holds an interest in Martinez, who could be made available by Inter this summer given their financial problems.
This could mean Balogun is limited to a peripheral role again next season after playing just 84 minutes of first-team action last term.
Still, the New York-born forward is confident in his own ability and has claimed that the considerable hype he has received in the last 12 months isn’t something that fazes him.
“I don’t see pressure as a negative – it’s a privilege. It’s always a good opportunity to show people what you can do”, he told the club’s media.
“I’m really happy that the fans are there helping me, supporting me and it’s nice to know that they have expectations of me because I am confident that I can meet them.”
“I feel it’s important to be in the first-team changing room with the rest of the players. You feel like you are actually, fully involved.
“That’s something I’m really happy with, I feel like more a part of the set up and that helps on the pitch as well.
“I always back myself. The more you prepare for something, the more confident you get, so I just need to keep working hard and sharpening up my tools.”