‘Gareth Southgate may want to backtrack’ – Folarin Balogun ‘leaning to’ USMNT over England, says Eric Wynalda

Gareth Southgate Folarin Balogun
Gareth Southgate has been advised to “backtrack” on his Folarin Balogun comments, with Eric Wynalda saying the striker is “leaning to the USA”.
  • International allegiance tug of war
  • Striker wanted by Three Lions and USA
  • Big decisions to make with club and country

WHAT HAPPENED? England boss Southgate has urged the 21-year-old striker to be patient as he waits on senior international recognition, with the promising frontman having withdrawn from the latest U21 squad pieced together by the Three Lions. The New York native headed to America on the back of that decision, as the United States attempt to get him to pledge allegiance to them, and Wynalda believes the hot prospect will end up representing the country of his birth.

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WHAT THEY SAID: Wynalda has told The Action Network’s Wondergoal Podcast of efforts from the USMNT to get Balogun on board: “Southgate may want to backtrack a bit from his comments that if Folarin Balogun waits patiently he could eventually be given a chance with England. Clearly Balogun is and will be pursued by the USMNT.

"He is apparently leaning to the USA ands has taken down some things from his Instagram, page that involved his time with the England youth sides. His trip to Orlando was highly documented over the international break and the US supporters are already creating shirts with his name and the number nine on the back. I think he changes the complexion of the US side more than any other player in the past or present.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Balogun is generating such interest as he has netted 18 goals during a productive loan spell at Ligue 1 side Reims this season, with his full potential starting to be unlocked in France.

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Folarin Balogun Reims 2022-23

Folarin Balogun

Gareth Southgate World Cup 2022

WHAT NEXT? Balogun remains tied to a contract at Premier League giants Arsenal, with a big decision on his future needing to be made there as well, and it could be that he has international colours nailed to a USMNT mast by the time a CONCACAF Nations League semi-final clash with Mexico is taken in on June 15.