England superstar has decided to change nationality with immediate effect and will NEVER play for Gareth Southgate’s side ever again
Gareth Southgate opens up on England’s battle with USMNT for Folarin Balogun.
Gareth Southgate has recognised England face competition from the United States to secure the international allegiance of Folarin Balogun.
The Arsenal striker has spent the 2022/23 season on loan at Reims and has only been outscored in Ligue 1 by Kylian Mbappe and Jonathan David, registering 17 goals in 27 league games.
Balogun was born in New York but moved to England when he was just two years old, making him eligible to play for the USMNT. Through his parents, he could also choose to represent Nigeria.
After injury ruled him out of England’s Under-21 games this international window, Balogun jetted off for a break in the United States.
Balogun has held talks with USMNT representatives over the possibility of playing for the senior side – he has predominantly starred for England’s youth teams, though did play four times for the United States’ Under-18s back in 2018.
Southgate was asked about Balogun’s international future ahead of England’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Ukraine on Sunday.
“It is a classic thing we are facing at the moment – young players progress well and you cannot perhaps give them the immediate opportunity that they would like and another country can offer them,” Southgate said.
“It is up to the player to weigh up where his heart feels. Is he prepared to wait a little for an opportunity, if he backs himself and feels he can push his way into our squad?
Flo, we like. He has not had an opportunity in the Premier League, yet, so we have to weigh up those goals against Ivan [Toney’s] or Ollie Watkins’ or Eddie Nketiah’s. We are not arrogant expecting everybody to want to play for England. If some people are patient…and others want it now – I can totally understand that.”