- Exciting forward was born in New York
- Grew up in London
- Represented Young Lions up to U-21 level
WHAT HAPPENED? The 21-year-old striker, who was born in New York but moved to London at the age of two, has been catching the eye while on loan at Ligue 1 side Reims this season. Questions are being asked of his future at club level, as he remains contracted to Premier League giants Arsenal, but he has faced more big decisions when it comes to his country.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Balogun appears to be nailing his colors to the USMNT mast, with FIFA revealing on Tuesday that a request from the U.S. Soccer Federation to change the promising forward's national eligibility from England to America has been accepted.
"The change of association of the player Folarin Jolaoluwa Balgun from England to the USA has been approved," FIFA confirmed to GOAL in a statement.
WHAT THEY SAID: Balogun, who has represented England up to U-21 level and was born in Brooklyn to Nigerian parents, has previously said of picking between the various nations he is eligible to represent: “My parents were on holiday there for a few months because we have family in New York. But very soon after I was born, we all moved back to London. London is my city, it’s where I grew up, where my friends are, and if people ask me where I’m from, I say I’m English. But, yes, I am a mixture of all these cultures.”
IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? FIFA rules allow players to switch national eligibility at any point prior to taking part in a competitive senior game. The USMNT is now in a position to call upon Balogun, with it possible that he could form part of their plans for the CONCACAF Gold Cup or Nations League this summer.