Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun’s switch from England to USA approved by FIFA

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Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun has switched allegiance from England to the United States, FIFA has confirmed.

The New York-born 21-year-old, who is currently on loan at French club Reims, has represented England at Under-21s level but has opted to play his senior international football for the country of his birth.

A FIFA spokesperson told the PA news agency said: “The change of association of the player Folarin Jolaoluwa Balogun from England to the USA has been approved.”

Balogun revealed the decision was a “no-brainer” after US Soccer had confirmed the switch.

He told US Soccer’s official website: “My decision to represent the United States came together with my family.

“In the end, it became a no-brainer, but for sure it’s just something I wanted to do and it feels like I’m at home here.

“To represent the United States means a lot, more than people would know. I’m very proud and honoured to have this opportunity, and I want to give everything I have to make our team successful.”

Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun
Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun has decided to play his international football for the USA (Tim Goode/PA)

Balogun has made 13 appearances for Lee Carsley’s side, but withdrew from the squad in March due to injury.

Having been born in America, Balogun moved to England when he was two years old and also qualifies for Nigeria through his parents.

Qualifying players are allowed to switch associations before they have played a competitive match for a nation’s senior team.

Balogun has made 10 first-team appearances and scored two goals for the Gunners, and spent the second half of the 2021-22 season on loan at Sky Bet Championship Middlesbrough.

However, he has made a name for himself in Ligue 1 this season with 19 goals in 34 appearances to date.

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