Mikel Arteta warns USMNT target Folarin Balogun amid ongoing international tug-of-war with England

Folarin Balogun 2022-23Getty
  • Balogun was born in New York
  • He pulled out of the England U21s squad due to injury
  • USMNT coach Anthony Hudson confirmed talks had taken place

WHAT HAPPENED? Arsenal striker Balogun, who is wanted by England, the United States and Nigeria, spent the international break in the US and held talks with the national team hierarchy, who are looking to get the striker to commit to them ahead of the 2026 World Cup. That led to Gareth Southgate urging the 21-year-old to take his time before making any decision, making it clear that he needed to play in the Premier League before he could be considered for the senior England squad.

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WHAT THEY SAID: When asked what advice he would give to Balogun, who has scored 17 goals while on loan in France with Reims this season, Arteta said: "To focus on today and continue to do what he has been doing.

"He has been phenomenal, so keep doing what you’re doing and don’t think about anything else. The rest of the things will come naturally. I would try to do what he has been doing. It has been working really well for him and the team."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Balogun has now returned to France following his trip to the United States. England Under-21s coach Lee Carsley plans to meet the forward in the coming weeks for further talks about his future.


balogun(C)Getty ImagesFolarin BalogunGetty

Mikel-Arteta(C)Getty Images

WHAT NEXT FOR BALOGUN? The striker returns to action with Reims on Sunday in Ligue 1 where he'll look to extend his goalscoring run that sees him in joint third place in the scoring charts in France's top flight.