Arsenal star Folarin Balogun hints at USMNT switch after being snubbed by England

Arsenal star Folarin Balogun hints at USMNT switch after being snubbed by England boss Gareth Southgate despite the New York-born striker’s firing form on loan with Reims

In-form Reims striker Folarin Balogun appears to have handed the USA international team a massive boost after he shared a cryptic message following his omission from England’s latest squad. 

The 21-year-old is thriving in France, while on loan from Arsenal, scoring 17 goals in 28 games across all competitions for Reims but his on-target efforts still were not enough to earn him a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad. 

Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate elected not to call him up, instead opting for Brentford striker Ivan Toney, despite his recent betting scandal.

The New York-born Balogun may have been hurt by the snub as he took to Instagram to post a story with the caption ‘In life, go where [you’re] appreciated.’

The move comes just a day after the USMNT expressed interest in attempting to lure the youngster to the Stars and Stripes. 

The striker seemed hurt by the snub as he posted: 'In life, go where [you're] appreciated'

The striker seemed hurt by the snub as he posted: ‘In life, go where [you’re] appreciated’

Balogun, is eligible to play for England and Nigeria but was born in New York. 

It would be a huge boost to the USA , who are in need of a reliable striker, while England and Nigeria are both already well-stocked in the No. 9 department. 

The USA could also provide him with the easiest route to the 2026 World Cup, with all but guaranteed a spot on the roster for the tournament on home soil. 

Balogun has so far represented England throughout his respective youth levels and seemed set to continue that way. 

But USA’s interim head coach Anthony Hudson confirmed that the team had opened talks with Balogun and his representatives over a potential switch. 

‘All I’ll say, there is open dialogue with him and his team,’ Hudson told reporters Wednesday. ‘That dialogue is continuing. That’s all I can say.’ 

Meanwhile, former USMNT player Eric Wynalda recently said that the USA needs to play up to Balogun’s ego to lure him over and given him the opportunity to be a star – something The Three Lions are currently offering no chance of. 

 ‘We have to appeal to his ego which is the reality of this,’ Wynalda said via Goal. ‘We should let him know that he will be a star. An absolute star at a World Cup, in his own country as he was born in New York. 

‘We need to lock him in with some sponsors too. He will be a star with us. He won’t necessarily be a star with England. It will come down to how important it is for him to be in the spotlight. That’s the only chance we’ve got to get him.’

Meanwhile, AC Milan have identified Balogun as a potential target as they are planning on investing in a new center-forward during the summer transfer window.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sports, the Serie A side are looking to find a long-term replacement for Olivier Giroud – who will turn 37 years old in September. 

Balogun is expected to return to Arsenal at the end of the season but faces stiff competition of minutes. 

He will battle it out with the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah for a place in Mikel Arteta’s squad next season. 

Source link