England U21 manager disappointed at Balogun's decision to play for USA

‘I don’t think we could have done any more than what we did’: England Under 21 manager Lee Carsley reveals his disappointment at Arsenal loanee Folarin Balogun’s decision to play for the USA instead

  • Folarin Balogun has been a revelation while on loan at Reims this season 
  • The Arsenal loanee has appeared 13 times for England Under 21s
  • He was born in New York, and has now decided to represent the USA instead

England Under 21 manager Lee Carsley has revealed his disappointment at losing Folarin Balogun to the USA just weeks before the summer’s European Championship.

Balogun, born in New York, pulled out of the last squad in March through injury and spent time in America, hinting at the switch in allegiance. 

Afterwards, Carsley travelled to France, where Balogun has 20 league goals on loan at Reims, to talk through his future.

Folarin Balogun has decided to represent the USA after initially playing for England Under 21s

England Under 21s manager Lee Carsley had ‘only positive things to say’ about the striker despite his switch of allegiance

The Arsenal academy graduate, who could leave the Gunners for more game time, was the frontline striker in qualifying.

‘He was fine, positive,’ Carsley said. ‘He was looking forward to the summer. He was considering it (the USA) but he felt he was going to come in the summer and it was a good opportunity for him. 

‘Then maybe two weeks later, I got a phone call off him to say that he’d had a change of heart. He had spoken to his parents and that he was going to go for it.

‘I don’t think we could have done any more than what we did. I’ve got nothing but positive things to say about Flo. It took a bit of courage to pick the phone up and do it himself.’

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