To Join USMNT, Balogun Must Show True Dedication Despite Great Potential

    Folarin Balogun would be a ‘great addition’ to the US squad, but Arsenal’s Matt Turner only wants the striker to make a move if it ‘comes from the heart’.

    Arsenal striker Balogun excelled on loan at Reims this season, scoring 17 goals in 27 Ligue 1 matches, trailing only Jonathan David and Kylian Mbappe (both 19).

    The 21-year-old’s superb form has sparked talk of a fight for his international affiliation with the New York-born star, eligible to represent England, the United States and Nigeria.

    Balogun has been a mainstay of the England under-21s but has pulled out of international competition this month with an injury.

    The event raised renewed hope that Balogun would take over USMNT commitments, and Turner confirmed that he had spoken to his Gunners teammate about the matter.

    “I spoke to Flo. Obviously we did most of the pre-season together and I knew he had roots in the US,” the goaltender said on Wednesday.

    “So, we developed a relationship with him pretty quickly. That’s pretty much the extent of it. We check each other here and there.

    “He would be a great addition to our team. I think he did a great job with his club on loan, but we’ll see.

    “The decision has to come from the heart because it’s not always easy to come in and play these CONCACAF games. This is a difficult region at times.

    “So, for us, we would be very grateful for him, but his heart should be in it.”

    Earlier this week, Balogun told Sky Sports he was undecided about his future but dreamed of playing at the highest level.

    “My international future is not yet decided in terms of who I will play for,” he said. “But of course I want to play international football at the highest level, in the World Cups, and I want to compete at the highest level.

    “I want to put myself in the place where I speak to millions of people.”

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