Rising Arsenal star Folarin Balogun held talks with US Soccer last week and will now discuss his international future with England.
Balogun was visiting Orlando, Florida during the international break in March and the USMNT-eligible forward, interested in pursuing his international future in the United States, caused quite a stir.
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The England U21 forward missed his March camp with a minor injury and then scored an A Photo on social media showing that he was near USMNT training camp in Florida and for which he was near Orlando USMNT’s 1-0 win over El Salvador there.
Now England U21 boss Lee Carsley has revealed the Three Lions will hold talks with Balogun next week over his future as they travel to Reims in France where he is currently on loan from Arsenal.
“He has a decision to make, so all we can do is tell him how much we appreciate him. The rest is up to him,” Carsley said of the London evening standard. Balogun has scored seven goals in 13 U21 games for England.
However, USMNT caretaker coach Anthony Hudson confirmed last week that Balogun and US Soccer had held talks about his future.
“We had a dialogue. He’s out here [in Orlando] take a little break and train. We have had some discussions. It’s just a matter of him enjoying the rest of his journey… It was an opportunity for us to share our program and that’s it. I hope we speak again,” Hudson said.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Balogun is a sought-after man as England, the USMNT and Nigeria are all urging him to represent them as he continues to evaluate his options.
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What are the chances that he will choose USMNT?
Balogun, 21, has scored 17 goals in France’s top flight for Reims this season as his loan spell from Arsenal has gone incredibly well and only Jonathan David and Kylian Mbappe have scored more goals in Ligue 1 in 2022-23 so far as he.
Eligible internationally for USA, England and Nigeria, he has represented England’s youth teams in recent years and previously played for USA at U18 level.
Balogun was set to play for the Three Lions this international break as he is England’s all-time leading scorer at Under-21 level and Carsley wants him to represent them at the European Under-21 Championship this summer.
The talented forward took advantage of an unexpected opportunity to fly to Orlando to meet with US soccer officials and discuss his potential future with the USMNT. So will he switch international allegiances?
Arsenal team-mate and USMNT starting goalkeeper Matt Turner had this to say when asked about Balogun.
“Yes, he would be a great addition to our national team. I think he’s obviously done really well for his loan club and we’ll see. The decision has to come from the heart because coming and playing at those CONCACAF games isn’t necessarily always an easy task and it’s a difficult region at times. So we’d be really grateful to have him, but his heart has to be there,” Turner said.
what is he thinking
Balogun has spoken on this subject before than Pro Soccer Talk asked him about his international future in an interview at the beginning of last season.
We asked Balogun if other Arsenal academy graduates like Yunus Musah and Bukayo Saka in similar situations have led them to discuss how they made their decision of which country to represent and if that helped him in the decision would help who he plays for internationally.
“I haven’t spoken to any of them about the nationality situation,” Balogun said. “Even knowing them, they haven’t put themselves under much pressure about it. I think it’s a decision that comes naturally to them.
“I think I’ll do the same and hopefully I’ll come up with something and then I’ll make a decision… I don’t want to put too much pressure on the situation. It’s just something that just comes to me.”
Maybe he got that feeling while he was in the Orlando area with the USMNT.
Folarin Balogun to USMNT? England holds US-interest talks originally appeared on NBCSports.com
Source : sports.yahoo.com