USMNT target Folarin Balogun reveals Thierry Henry guidance that's helped him outscore Lionel Messi while on loan at Reims from Arsenal

  • Folarin on loan from Arsenal
  • Impressing in Ligue 1 with Reims
  • Has received advice from Henry

WHAT HAPPENED? Balogun is enjoying life on loan from Arsenal at Reims. The 21-year-old has netted 17 times in France's top flight so far this season, four more than Paris Saint-Germain superstar Lionel Messi, with only Kylian Mbappe and Jonathan David currently sitting above Reims forward in the scoring charts. Balogun's latest effort saw him became the youngest player to score at least 17 goals in their first Ligue 1 season since 1956, and he's now revealed he's been helped by advice from Arsenal icon Henry.

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WHAT THEY SAID: "The first time I spoke to him in depth was against PSG. Funnily enough, he messaged me words of encouragement before the Monaco game, I scored the winner and then we messaged after the game. It’s nice to get to know him on a more personal level. I’m asking him questions and he’s helping me so it’s a nice person to have in your phone," Balogun told Football.London. "It’s nothing seriously in-depth. It’s more akin to conversations between somebody who’s seen the heights of the game and taken steps in his career than I’m now taking in terms of playing in England and playing abroad. He knows the feeling and how uncomfortable it can be so I’m asking more general questions about his career and how he felt at certain points. It’s light-hearted but allows me to take some good advice from him."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Balogun is due to return to Arsenal at the end of the season but has been tipped to move to a "very big club" if he does not stay with the Gunners after shining in Ligue 1. The talented forward added on his future beyond this season: "What I’ve been able to do so far, I’m sure it’s making a lot of noise - not just at Arsenal but everywhere. It’s just about continuing that, staying focused and helping the team achieve their maximum potential for this season. That’s as far as I’ve thought."

AND WHAT'S MORE: The youngster is also in demand at international level. Balogun has featured for the England Under-21s but is also eligible to play for the USMNT and is in "open dialogue" regarding committing his future to the Stars and Stripes.


Folarin Balogun Reims 2022-23GettyThierry HenryGetty Images

Lionel Messi PSG 2022-23Getty

WHAT NEXT FOR BALOGUN? The youngster was left out of the latest England squad by coach Gareth Southgate but had been called up to the England Under-21 squad over the international break. However, Balogun has since withdrawn through injury.

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