Mikel Arteta has reassured West Ham with his response on striker Folarin Balogun as Arsenal star Gabriel Jesus has knee surgery.

A big development at Arsenal yesterday looked set to have serious ramifications for West Ham’s already barren summer transfer window.

West Ham have been heavily linked with a move for Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun in recent months.

According to the likes of Football.London, West Ham have been showing genuine interest in bringing talented Gunners ace Balogun to the London Stadium from Arsenal.

And is it any wonder after the 22-year-old US international shone on loan at Reims last season, scoring 22 goals in 39 appearances.

We reported earlier this week that Arsenal have done West Ham a massive double favour by pricing Inter Milan out of a move for Balogun.

1. FC Nürnberg v Arsenal F.C. - Pre-Season Test Match
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West Ham heavily linked with wantaway Gunner Balogun

And now the Italian club are looking to sign wantaway Hammers forward Gianluca Scamacca, which in turn would help bolster David Moyes’ transfer kitty to push for Balogun.

West Ham were encouraged by a coy response on Balogun’s Arsenal future from Gunners boss Mikel Arteta during pre-season.

With Balogun slipping further down the Arsenal pecking order due to the arrival of Kai Havertz – and having made it clear he does not want to go out on another loan – West Ham have been alerted to his availability.

Arsenal on Pre-Season Tour in the USA
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Mikel Arteta reassures West Ham with response on striker Folarin Balogun as Arsenal star Gabriel Jesus has knee surgery

There were further positive signs for the Hammers when Arteta left Balogun out of his squad completely for the friendly against Monaco, which Football.London claimed was due to the transfer speculation surrounding him.

In a development that seemed so typical of West Ham’s luck this window, though, there looked to be a huge setback yesterday when it was confirmed Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus had to go under the knife to sort an injury.

But Arteta has reassured West Ham with his response on striker Balogun as Arsenal star Jesus has knee surgery.

Arsenal FC v West Ham United - Premier League
Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arteta comments will be music to West Ham’s ears

Because the Spaniard has stated that Jesus’ injury do not change the situation for Balogun ‘at all’.

“The plan with Flo doesn’t change at all,” Arteta said, as reported by the likes of Football.London.

“But unfortunately, with Gabby, we not going to have him.

“We have other options (besides Jesus and Balogun) to play with different qualities of players, so we will adapt.”

This will be music to West Ham’s ears especially with Scamacca on the brink of a return to Italy if reports are to be believed.

A coach who has been working one-to-one with Balogun over the summer claims he is expected to leave Arsenal this summer.

And he rates him as one of the most exciting up-and-coming numbers nines in world football.


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