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Folarin Balogun has not not held back in his reaction from being left out in England’s squad despite his sizzling form in Ligue 1.
The Arsenal striker has been a regular throughout the nation’s youth ranks having scored six goals in 11 caps for the under-21s. Talk of a call-up from Gareth Southgate has been rather quiet this season, despite the 21-year-olds astonishing goalscoring record in France.
Balogun has scored 17 goals in 28 appearances this season for Stade de Reims – only Kylian Mbappe and Jonathan David have scored more in Ligue 1.
His displays for Will Still’s side have provided food for thought for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal ahead of his return to north London at the end of the season. The Gunners currently have Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah as options in attack but it’s expected Balogun will demand first-team football after proving his worth in Europe.
READ MORE: Arsenal star Folarin Balogun tipped to make USMNT decision in major England snub
It’s not just at club-level where his services are up for grabs. Balogun is yet to earn a senior cap for the Three Lions and has represented the USMNT at youth level. He is also eligible to play for Nigeria due to his parents.
And after USA interim head coach Anthony Hudson confirmed he was in “open dialogue” with the striker’s representatives, Balogun’s England dream may be over after Southgate opted against naming him in his squad for the upcoming European Championship 2024 qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine.
The Gunners loanee took to Instagram almost immediately after the announcement, writing: “In life, go where you’re appreciated. Be easy.”
The USMNT have lacked a present goalscorer in their squad in years gone by. West Brom’s Daryl Dike was recently called-up by Hudson but the prospect of having Balogun remains an attractive ambition. Speaking on Wednesday, Hudson said: “All I’ll say, there is open dialogue with him and his team.
“That dialogue is continuing. That’s all I can say.”
Despite missing out on the senior England squad, Balogun may be called-up to Lee Carsley’s U21 side. They are due to face France and Croatia next week.
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