Folarin Balogun reveals Southgate had nothing with decision to snub Nigeria and England for USA

Posted by Timige, On 10 Jun, 2023 | Updated On 13 Jun, 2023 No Comments »


Arsenal star Folarin Balogun has said that Gareth Southgate’s comments on his England future did not have an impact on his decision to commit to the U.S. national team.

The striker officially chose the USA over England and Nigeria last month, ending a lengthy period of recruitment by U.S. Soccer that included a visit to their camp in Orlando in March.

In contrast to the recruitment done by former interim USA coach Anthony Hudson, England manager Southgate was a bit cooler on Balogun when quizzed on the striker in March.

“It is up to the player to weigh up where his heart feels. Is he prepared to wait a little bit for an opportunity if he backs himself and feels he can push his way into our squad?

“Because anybody who has followed us will know that we will give young players a chance.

“So, we cannot go and give first-team call-ups to someone just because we don’t want them to go somewhere else.

“We like Flo. He has obviously not had an opportunity in the Premier League yet, so we have to weigh up those goals to Ivan [Toney], for example, or Ollie Watkins. Or Eddie Nketiah, who has done really well with the opportunity he has had at Arsenal.”

Balogun was given the chance to respond to Southgate’s comments when speaking to reporters on Friday, but denied that the England coach’s words had any impact on his decision to represent the U.S.

“In terms of my decision to come here, it just really was an internal decision between myself, my family and my agent,” the 21-year-old said. “It wasn’t anything to do with the comments of Gareth Southgate or anything to do with noise that I heard from outside. It was something that I wanted to do, something my family supported, and at the end of the day, I just went with my heart and went with what I thought was best.”Balogun played with the U.S. U-18 side in 2018 but from that point until he committed to the USA, he had only represented England at various youth international levels.

Source: 234 Sports Ng

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