'The buzz': USA pundit shares how Arsenal's Folarin Balogun is being treated in America
Sebastian Salazar says Arsenal academy product Folarin Balogun is getting the ‘VIP treatment’ in the USA and there is a ‘real buzz’ around the striker in America.
Born in Brooklyn, USA, Folarin Balogun has the chance to represent either England, the US Men’s National team or Nigeria on the international stage.
Only last week, the Arsenal 21-year-old was picked for England U21 duty and he was set to earn his 14th cap for that age group.
Balogun, who scored 17 goals for Reims in Ligue 1 this season, then pulled out of Lee Carlsey’s squad because of injury and then proceeded to send a subtle message via his Instagram story which wrote ‘in life, you go where you are appreciated’.
Well, it seems as though USMNT are showing that to Balogun, as they want him in their set-up, especially as they build towards co-hosting the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup.
Futbol Americas host, Sebastian Salazar, provided the lowdown on Balogun from the USA and their viewpoint on the matter, including the striker being paraded around America where he is getting the ‘VIP treatment’, as he told ESPN.
“We showed you that he was at the Orlando Magic game,” said Salazar. “He got a Yankee’s number nine (jersey) as well.
“I mean, this is the VIP treatment. If you don’t know about this kid. 17 goals in Ligue 1. Born in Brooklyn. He can play for the USA, England or Nigeria.
“I think, with every passing moment, the buzz around this kid from US fans grows and the feeling that he is going to choose the US grows as well.”
BALOGUN TO GO TO THE NEXT LEVEL
With that lure of playing international football and being a near-certainty to play at the 2026 World Cup, then it wouldn’t be a surprise if Balogun does pick repping the USA over England.
In truth, with Harry Kane still 29, then he’s not going to get ahead of England’s highest goalscorer any time soon.
Therefore, that will also probably push him towards the USMNT, who seem to be laying down the carpet and showing the young forward that they really appreciate him as a player.
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