Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Report: USA win battle for Balogun as FIFA approve allegiance switch

According to AP, FIFA have confirmed that Folarin Balogun has switched international allegiance from England to the USA.

The Arsenal striker, who was born in New York City, was a regular in the England under-21s until September last year but opted not to attend the most recent camp in March after Gareth Southgate failed to pick him for the senior squad. 

Instead, after informing England that he was nursing an injury, he travelled to Miami for conversations with USMNT interim coach Anthony Hudson.

It appears Hudson was persuasive and, coupled with the opportunity to be a poster boy at the 2026 World Cup which the US co-hosts with Canada and Mexico, Balogun didn’t hesitate in applying for an eligibility change.

The 21-year-old could get his first US call-up at the end of the season when they face Mexico in the CONCACAF Nations League semi-final. That fixture (and a possible final) effectively work as warm-ups for the CONCACAF Gold Cup which is being hosted by the US and takes place in June and July.

Any involvement on Balogun’s part will likely rule him out of the majority of the Gunners’ pre-season preparations.

That may not be much of an issue for manager Mikel Arteta who could look to cash in on the academy graduate this summer with a view to strengthening other areas of his squad.

Having scored 20 goals in all competitions while on loan at Stade de Reims, Balogun is not short of suitors.

Big clubs around Europe are understood to have made approaches knowing the player’s path to first team action at Emirates Stadium is blocked by the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli, Leandro Trossard and Eddie Nketiah.

Update – Balogun has confirmed the switch of allegiance via his social channels.

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Stonks

I’d loan/sell Nketiah and give Balogun a shot next season

karl g

I wouldn’t base everything on scoring goals in the French league. Lacazette has 50% more than Balogun in the same league.

We need to look for someone with guaranteed goals in a top league.

Heavenly Chapecoense

That Mbappe guy has only played in the French league.

A Different George

I thought he did pretty well in the last couple of World Cups. Not sure about those rainy nights in Stoke though.

Smash

He had played and won the world cup for his national team..

Crash Fistfight

So you just look at stats and don’t bother watching a player actually play?

Andy

Taxi for Eddie then

Ebo

lol “guaranteed”. Even if you spend 100m on a player you’re not guaranteed a signle thing, look at the history of the most expensive transfers ever.

Qwaliteee

Fair play to the lad if that’s what he wants. Looks like the US have got themselves a great player, whilst we (England) still have to put up with the window licker.

As long as Balogun remains an Arsenal player, I’m really not fussed.

Hopeful Gooner

With Champions League this coming season, why should we just sell off Balogun? Our top scorer this season is a midfielder, which tells us that our strikers (even the very hardworking Jesus), just aren’t scoring enough goals. I’m almost certain that with a +20-goal-a-season striker, we may very well have clinched the league title this season.

When city have a striker scoring nearly 40 EPL goals in a season, i think at the very least Balogun (with his 20 goals this season) has earned the right to be given a chance to prove himself before we can simply dismiss him.

Anon

Jesus could be top scorer if he hadn’t spent so much time injured

Leon

I don’t think so.
He has hardly been prolific before his injury or after it.
Jesus is a second striker – Arsenal need an out and out striker in the vein of Osminhen or Vlahovic.

karl g

I think this is the only way to compete. Jesus naturally drops into midfield and often leaves the penalty are empty. He’s about a 15 goal a season striker with great hold up play.

A Different George

If you watch him, Jesus does naturally drop into midfield–and then is in the penalty area a moment later–stupendous work rate.

Jimbo1

He does work hard and links well but misses a lot of chances that a top class striker would put away. He has a role to play, but Arsenal need a genuine threat at centre forward.

Leon

I agree with you.
We distribute goals so well throughout the team – perhaps MA believes what we have is enough.
I just wonder what the summer will hold and whether the club back Arteta in the right way.
I see Caicedo has voiced his regret over the tackle on Martinelli – Softening a potential move perhaps?

Anon

15-20 goals a season seems quite doable for him. He’s already on 10.

An out and out striker might bring you more goals but you would likely lose his other contributions.

Doesn’t seem to be the way we are heading at the moment. We have plenty of players who can score goals.

karl g

He is very consistent if you check the numbers. Gabriel Jesus scores 1 goal every 2.5 games, so that would be 15.2 per season.

karl g

That is if he stays fit all season of course.

Heavenly Chapecoense

He stats in terms of goal per minute played shouldn’t be bad. Guardiola the godfather of pressing game said that nobody plays the pressing game better than Jesus. The problem is that we cannot sacrifice Odegaard for a second striker. Personally, I see Martinelli as a the same kind of player as RVP so he can be developed for CF (next season may be too soon).

Gunner1971

All very well mate, but if he is not signing a new contract or if he wants to play somewhere as 1st choice (just look at his impatience with England) then we will have to cash in.

Daveo

I don’t have a foot in either camp, but he made the right choice on his international allegiance. Hairy Kant will be the England striker until he physically cannot walk… unlucky for you guys.

Gunner1971

I’m ok with him choosing USA, but it tends to indicate he won’t wait in line for his chances at Arsenal either.

A Different George

Isn’t it pretty obvious that the total number of goals is what determines how effective your attack is? We have scored more goals than anyone but Man City–who won the league last season with a striker who looked uncannily like Gabriel Jesus.

Hopeful Gooner

I hear you, but just imagine if we kept the same level of goal distribution throughout the team as we currently have, but ADDED a +20-goal a season striker?

We’d go very far in our quest to once again become serial title winners, yes?

Badaab

Southgate and his over reliance on Kane are really going to be a problem for England over the next decade or so as they have not integrated or developed any other strikers

Crash Fistfight

Do you think Balogun is the player to tip England over the edge to glory?

Leon

Football manager was right all along.
To be honest if Folarin wants a productive international career the USA is certainly his best bet.
He could score 60 goals in the Premiership and would still never displace Kane – Southgate has his favourites.

CLEGooner

Huzzah
-A Yank

A Different George

Obviously Balogun is likely to get more playing time for the US than for England; Clint Dempsey was the last quality American goal threat. But that kinda tells you the level you are talking about. I’m a bit surprised by this decision. I don’t know what sort of offers we are likely to get, but if there good ones from outside England, we should certainly sell.

shokim

Good luck to Flo in the USMNT.
Hope we get a good deal for him, if Arteta doesn’t see a path for him in the first team. I’d get an upgrade on Nketiah too.

Chris

That’s a shame, I thought once Kane has gone, the No.9 is up for grabs. Good luck!

wrightstuff8

Init.Ah well. Good luck Flo.

SLC Gooner

It will be up for grabs, but there’s also a pretty significant amount of competition in England. Not the case in the US, where he basically is immediately the top of the pile.

Ebo

Southgate would rather go get Rooney out of retirement first

Bigbadbiz

That announcement video is pretty poppin

Hurensohn

Bad move for Arsenal. If we keep him, he has long flights at shit times of the year. If we sell we don’t get no English tax.

Crash Fistfight

He still qualifies as home grown so I doubt that’s an issue. Clubs aren’t suddenly going to think he has a different character because he’s decided to play at being American.

Tampa Jack

I hope he stays – but either way his marketability just jumped up a notch or two and whatever professional team gets him will probably get a bunch of new American fans buying their jerseys. So I’d say this move increases his sell on price at least a little.

#define

About time the US won something in soccer. 🙂
Now we just need 9 more of the same !

Teryima Adi

I trust you made the right decision. Best wishes 🙏🏾

Merlin’s Panini

Can’t help but think Southgate has totally fucked up in the long run here. Having Balogun in the England squad would’ve taken me a little further again to giving a shit about England, especially if he were to usurp (ex-Arsenal) Kane.
Good luck to Flo. I just hope he comes back and remains and Arsenal player.

Nas

I’d sub Gabriel Jesus because he’s been reaaaaly ineffective last few games the most. Important ones

Mark

As a USMNT fan in the US it’s great news for me as the US hasn’t had a set striker for many years and likely none that the level he will get to. For him it is a good decision now to be able to come in and be the unquestioned top choice striker for a WC squad. Down the road who knows how it will turn out giving up his opportunity to play for England in the Euros, WC Qualifying and the WC.

HanKolo

I think something to consider when deciding on the future of Balogun is his marketing potential. If (and its a big IF) he is a success at Arsenal and for the US national team that is a huge pull for commercial revenue in the US. We might need to play him next season to see how he does but with Jesus you at least have a mentor who he can learn from who can instill the need for a high work rate and professionalism. Unless we can sign a top top striker who can guarantee goals I don’t know why… Read more »

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