Folarin Balogun chose USMNT due to 'arrogance’ of England and Gareth Southgate as Eric Wynalda reflects on allegiance battle
- Arsenal-owned striker thriving
- Represented Young Lions up to U21 level
- Committed to the land of his birth
WHAT HAPPENED? The highly-rated striker has brought a battle between the USMNT and Three Lions to a close by revealing that he will be committing to the country of his birth. Balogun has represented England up to U21 level, having been raised in London, but the New York native is now ready to chase an American dream after seeing his eligibility request approved by FIFA.
WHAT THEY SAID: Former USMNT star Wynalda believes that England’s superiority complex has come back to haunt them when it comes to Balogun, telling The Action Network of some questionable comments from those in the Three Lions camp: “Gareth Southgate has certainly made some missteps here with his comments about the talented American playing in France. Southgate said: 'We can’t just hand out international opportunities to a player simply because we don’t want them to play for somebody else'. Whoops - If he could take that one back now I think he would. Southgate has completely underestimated Folarin's ability and tried to shrug it off. Sorry, but there are times where English arrogance needs to be illuminated and this is one of them.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Balogun has become a much sought-after asset, at domestic and international level, having already hit 20 goals in the 2022-23 campaign campaign while on loan at Ligue 1 side Reims from Premier League heavyweights Arsenal.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Balogun is now available to the United States, with bids for CONCACAF Nations League and Gold Cup glory next on the agenda. However, the 21-year-old does still face some big decisions domestically, as he remains contracted to Arsenal but faces fierce competition for attacking berths at Emirates Stadium from the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah.