Arsenal loanee Folarin Balogun, who has spent the season out on loan at Reims, is set to snub England in favour of representing the USA Men’s National Team internationally [via Fabrizio Romano on Twitter].
Balogun was born in New York, but moved to England when he was just two years old. As such, he was eligible for both countries – but he has reportedly made his decision after much deliberation.
In Romano’s tweet, he wrote: “Breaking, huge news for United States. Arsenal star Folarin Balogun has finally decided to represent USMNT — he will switch allegiance to USA. Balogun took his time but the decision has been made. No England; he will represent USA. Official soon. Here we go.”
Why England should have tried to keep Balogun
The loss of Balogun could prove to be a costly one in the future for England. While he wouldn’t have unseated Harry Kane, the Tottenham man isn’t getting any younger at 29 years of age.
Balogun could have offered an option for when England prepare for life without their all-time leading goalscorer – now, however, the Three Lions will not have this luxury.
Southgate has been somewhat naive in this situation – he has allowed Balogun to join the USMNT with little resistance. England have no shortage of quality strikers, including Callum Wilson, Ivan Toney and the aforementioned Kane, but another high-class centre-forward certainly wouldn’t have been a burden.
This season, under the guidance of Will Still, Balogun has scored 19 goals in 34 Ligue 1 games, alongside a trio of assists for Reims.