In a decision that will likely disappoint Gareth Southgate and his England staff, Arsenal loan star, Folarin Balogun, has opted to switch his international allegiance from the Three Lions to the United States Men’s National Team.
The 21-year-old has been ripping it up in France’s Ligue Un for Reims scoring more league goals (19) than any other U21 player in Europe’s top seven divisions, per Squawka.
Folarin Balogun has scored more league goals (19) than any other U21 player in Europe’s top seven divisions this season. ?? https://t.co/0bN7pZLl3q
— Squawka (@Squawka) May 16, 2023
It’s that kind of form that could see Mikel Arteta perhaps think twice about either sending the player out on loan again or selling him permanently to potentially interested parties.
Though the Gunners are well stocked in the forward department, having Balogun as back up at worst wouldn’t be the poorest decision that the Spaniard has ever made.
Before the new season begins, the player will likely represent his new country, something that he described as being a no-brainer.
“My decision to represent the United States came together with my family,” he said to US Soccer, cited by The Guardian.
“In the end, it became a no-brainer, but for sure it’s just something I wanted to do and it feels like I’m at home here.
“To represent the United States means a lot, more than people would know,” he added. “I’m very proud and honoured to have this opportunity, and I want to give everything I have to make our team successful.”
According to transfermarkt, Balogun’s Arsenal contract will run to June 2025. If the north Londoners don’t believe he is right for them at the moment, they could loan him out again for one more season.
Though they then run the risk of being on the back foot in negotiations as clubs will understand that in a year’s time he will only have another 12 months left to run on his deal.
Clearly, there are conversations to be had in the summer.