Arsenal striker, Folarin Balogun has made a decision on his international future. The young striker was eligible to play for the Nigeria National football team, England and the United States of America.
The 21 year old who is currently on loan at Stade de Remis has had a breakout year in Ligue 1. He has scored 19 goals and provided two assists in 34 league games this season. His brilliant form has shown that he is a striker with huge promise and a bright future.
The reason the 21-year -old is eligible for three countries is that Balogun was born in America to Nigerian parents who moved to England when he was only two years old. He grew up in the country and represented the Three Lions at the youth level.
He announced his decision to join the US Men's National Team on the 16th of May on his Twitter account, where he expressed his excitement to join the USMNT.
LET’S MAKE HISTORY! pic.twitter.com/DIsf0tCYVY
— Balogun (@balogun) May 16, 2023
Some Super Eagles fans were disappointed that the country could not lure such a prodigious talent to their ranks as he will strengthen the already powerful frontline but others also believe that Nigeria will do just fine without him.
With the presence of Victor Osimhen in the team, Balogun will no doubt be second choice to the Napoli striker, who is, at the moment, one of the best players on the planet.
With the presence of Terrem Moffi, Taiwo Awoniyi and the uncapped and hugely talented Gift Orban in the pipeline, Nigeria may not miss him much.
Fans of England also have mixed feelings on the matter. At 21, Balogun was the biggest striker prospect in the country but was behind in the pecking order. England’s captain, Harry Kane, would always be the first choice, with the likes of Ollie Watkins, Ivan Toney and Callum Wilson also in the mix.
Balogun, being so young, could have been the heir to Kane’s throne on the national team, but the wait may have been too long.
The decision to play for the United States could logically be the best one for him, as they have a young team that shows great promise. The 2022 FIFA World Cup was evidence of the potential they have, but they obviously lacked a real goal threat at the tournament.
A player of Balogun’s talent and age blends very well with that young team. The US are one of the three World Cup hosts for the 2026 edition of the tournament, which means there will be enough time for Balogun to become accustomed to his teammates and hit the ground running at international level.
After a successful loan spell this season, Balogun will have another huge decision to make this summer regarding his club future. With Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah the two preferred strikers in the Arsenal squad currently, Folarn may opt to move on if consistent playing time at the Emirates is not assured.
This article was most recently revised and updated 10 months ago