England to try and persuade Folarin Balogun to snub USMNT with crunch meeting scheduled for next week
- Balogun yet to decide on international future
- Carsley hopeful he can convince attacker
- USMNT also want 21-year-old
WHAT HAPPENED? Balogun's international future is uncertain with the striker eligible to play for England and the United States. The Arsenal striker, who is enjoying a prolific campaign on loan at Reims, was called up by the England Under-21s but pulled out through injury. He has since been spotted in the United States, and Carsley says he will meet with the attacker in France next week to try and convince him to play for the Three Lions.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "That is the plan. You're always going to miss a player with that knack of scoring. He's going to have to make a decision, so all we can do is tell him how much we rate him. The rest is down to him," he told reporters. "I'll just be making the point of how important he is to us. Hopefully we can talk a little bit about patience and understanding that he is going to have to keep doing what he's doing to break through to the senior team. Like a lot of players in our squad, we've got a lot of players that are pushing. Hopefully he can see that. I've been there myself as a young player, you're in a rush and you want to get there quickly. Hopefully I can convince him."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Carsley will hope he can convince Balogun after seeing the Arsenal loanee impress in Ligue 1 this season by scoring 18 goals for Reims. Yet USMNT fans have also been doing their best to tempt the forward, unveiling banners urging the attacker to join the Stars and Stripes ahead of the team's recent win over El Salvador. Coach Anthony Hudson and Christian Pulisic have also made it clear they would love to have Balogun in their set-up.
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IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Balogun is due to return to domestic action with Reims on Sunday, April 2 against Nantes in Ligue 1.