Arsenal loanee Folarin Balogun is having a remarkable season in Ligue 1 with Reims. He’s scored 17 goals in 27 games (only two behind league leaders Jonathan David and Kylian Mbappé) and is firing on all cylinders.
The 21-year-old talent has a big decision to make in his career and that is who he will represent on the international stage. Balogun was born in New York City to Nigerian parents and raised in England. He’s eligible to represent the USMNT, England and Nigeria.
So why all the fuss and Balogun USMNT rumors as of late? Let’s provide some context and recap the events that have taken place in the last week.
Balogun has played for both England and the United States’ youth national teams. He last played for the U.S. U-18 team in August 2018 while he’s appeared for England’s U-17, U-18, U-20 and U-21 in recent years.
He’s made 13 appearances for England’s U-21 team and looked set to make the jump to the senior team. At least that’s what people thought until a string of events took place in March that has excited USMNT fans.
Folarin Balogun USMNT rumors timeline
March 16: England manager Gareth Southgate doesn’t call up Balogun for England’s upcoming Euro qualifiers.
March 16: Balogun posts a cryptic message on Instagram that says, “In life go where you’re appreciated.”
Folarin Balogun on Instagram story, perhaps hinting at the possible snub from an England call-up. #afc pic.twitter.com/QhHEkN5t6u— afcstuff (@afcstuff) March 16, 2023
March 17: Balogun is selected for England’s U-21 squad.
March 21: Balogun withdraws from the U-21 squad with an unspecified injury. His club team Reims doesn’t have him listed as injured.
March 22: Balogun says his international future isn’t decided yet
FOLARIN BALOGUN talks to Sky Sports about his international future."My international future's not decided yet in terms of who I'll play for, but of course I want to play...at the highest level, in the World Cups." pic.twitter.com/dyZ71pWuxE
— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) March 22, 2023
March 22: USMNT goalkeeper Matt Turner reveals he and Balogun developed a friendship from their time during Arsenal’s preseason. Turner added that Balogun would “be a great addition to our national team.”
March 22: Balogun posts a picture on Instagram of himself in Orlando, Florida. The USMNT will play El Salvador in Orlando on March 27 and is currently based near the city for the March international break.
View this post on Instagram
YO BALOGUN IS IN ORLANDO‼️‼️‼️THIS IS NOT A DRILL ‼️‼️‼️ pic.twitter.com/hig0iV3ZDn
— USMNT burner (@burnerusmnt) March 22, 2023
You put all these events together and this is the kind of reaction you get on social media.
Folarin Balogun has withdrawn from England's U-21 camp due to ‘injury’.IT’S HAPPENINGGGGG!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/JL20iStriU
— Barstool Football (@StoolFootball) March 21, 2023
Folarin Balogun(hopefully) pic.twitter.com/yNShfDpSxt
— Travis (@usmnt_historian) March 22, 2023
announce Balogun @USMNT https://t.co/VAFnpf0jcA— USMNT Only (@usmntonly) March 22, 2023
Exclusive picture of Balogun spotted in Orlando this morning!
I will try to confirm if the picture is real. pic.twitter.com/9l20OyLndq— Tactical Manager (@ManagerTactical) March 22, 2023
Anthony Hudson only bringing two strikers in didn’t make sense at first, but now it does!If Balogun joins the #USMNT camp, Twitter might actually break pic.twitter.com/h4SCGuB1hn
— USMNT vs Haters (@USMNTvsHaters) March 21, 2023
If interim USMNT head coach Anthony Hudson manages to find a way to land Balogun then he will be worshipped by American fans.