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Balogun set to decide international future


In-form on-loan Arsenal striker, Folarin Balogun, has hinted that he will make a decision on his international future very soon following an impressive season with Reims in the French League so far this season, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

After failing to make much of an impact on loan at Middlesbrough for the second half of last season, Arsenal got Balogun another loan move to Ligue 1 and the move has appeared to be the perfect fit for the player who has rediscovered his goalscoring prowess.

As it stands, Balogun has found the net eight times in 14 league appearances while also recording two assists, that’s one more than Lionel Messi (7) and four less than Kylian Mbappe (12), who currently tops the scorer charts in France.

His performances haven’t gone unnoticed, with Arsenal legend Thierry Henry claiming that the youngster’s decision to head to France is paying off.

Balogun’s performances haven’t gone unnoticed and have drawn plenty of attention as he looks to develop in what is arguably one of the most important seasons of his career yet, and the 21-year-old is keeping his options very much open.

Despite currently representing England at U-21s level, Balogun has previously played for the US Under-18s. The New York City-born striker, who is eligible for the USMNT and Nigeria through family roots, in an interview with ligue1.com confirmed that he would be deciding on his future soon.

“Yes, when I was 17, the US federation offered me a friendly tournament in the Czech Republic in the summer,” Balogun said when asked about his young career so far.

“I had played for England in the Euro U-17 a few months before, but after talking to my family I decided to go. And we won the tournament! It was a good experience because I got to see a different way of playing and other methods. I’m still in contact with several people I met there.”

On the reports making rounds of the media on his future, the Arsenal loanee said, “I don’t have a problem with it. It’s the role of the media to ask these kinds of questions and I accept it. I’m going to make a decision soon and that decision will not depend on what the media or people think but on what is best for me. We will talk about it quietly with my family.”

He added, “Because my parents are Nigerian, their first language is Yoruba. I have a lot of family in Nigeria. My mother also has family in New York and Atlanta, with whom we exchange regularly and who sometimes visit us in London. And 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.”

The Reims’ striker also joked about sharing the same name with Super Eagles defender Leon Balogun.

“Yes, Leon Balogun! We’re not related but I’ve played against him before! It was in a pre-season friendly between Arsenal and Rangers a little over a year ago,” he said.

“By the way, we both had the number 26 so there were two Balogun number 26 shirts on the pitch [laughs]. After the game, we had a little chat together. I think he’s playing for Queens Park Rangers this season.”

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