- Striker starring on loan at Reims
- In the latest England U21 squad
- Remains eligible for the United States
WHAT HAPPENED? The 21-year-old striker, who has netted 18 goals this season while on loan from Arsenal at Ligue 1 side Reims, finds himself caught up in an international allegiance tug of war. Balogun is a New York native, but he has been turning out for England’s U21 side since 2021. There is still a chance that he could commit to the USMNT, with Eric Wynalda looking for those calling the shots at U.S. Soccer to break the bank and offer the hottest of prospects opportunities that are usually reserved for household names and NFL superstars.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Wynalda has told The Action Network’s Wondergoal Podcast of the battle for Balogun: “What do we have to do to get Folarin Balogun? That guy changes everything for US Soccer. He will feel he deserves Champions League football. He's worthy of a big club. He’s having a phenomenal year. I hope he continues to score goals but I hope we see him in red, white and blue jersey.
“They’ve (USMNT Federation) got to throw the kitchen sink at him and make him a very rich man. We have to introduce him to some of our sponsors and make some commercials. That’s the way the world works. Look at Aaron Rodgers. Look at how much money that guys made with State Farm. Look at Patrick Mahomes. That’s the way we do things in America. I wouldn’t be surprised if the federation met up with his agent and offered to make him a very rich man.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Balogun has been named in the latest England U21 squad, with the USMNT forced to select other strikers in their squad that will soon be back in CONCACAF Nations League action.
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IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty Images
WHAT NEXT? There are some big decisions approaching for Balogun as he will also need to determine where he sees his club future – having only made 10 competitive appearances for Arsenal so far.