Lee Carsley says Arsenal youngster Folarin Balogun is so highly rated by England
England coach Lee Carsley has admitted that national team staff really highly rate Arsenal forward Folarin Balogun.
Carsley was speaking after England’s under-21s lost 2-1 to Croatia last night at Craven Cottage.
The Young Lions were playing their final warm-up game before the European Championships this summer.
It’s a tournament that Folarin Balogun is eligible to play in, and he featured heavily in qualifying.
The 21-year-old has scored seven goals in 13 appearances for Lee Carsley’s side.
He would like be the first-choice striker going into the tournament, but Balogun may have other plans.
The Stade Reims forward is also eligible to play for the United States and Nigeria.
And after withdrawing from Carsley’s squad this week, Balogun travelled to the USA, where his Arsenal teammate Matt Turner was training with the senior squad.
Turner admitted he was impressed with Balogun’s form this season, and thought he’d be a great addition to the squad.
England fans will be hoping that doesn’t switch back to the USA after representing them at under-18 level.
England coaches impressed with Arsenal youngster Balogun
Carsley was asked about Balogun’s future and said: “He’s never given any inclination that he’s going to go elsewhere, and I’ll make it a priority to go and visit Flo and see how he’s getting on.
“I’ve not got any concerns about the USA nicking him. Obviously, he’s potentially going to have a decision to make.
“I think we can only tell him how rated he is with us, and support him and hopefully he feels that and comes with us in the summer.”
Balogun has been one of the shining stars of Ligue 1 this season, and is competing to win the Golden Boot.
He’s just two goals behind Kylian Mbappe, which is an incredible feat given he doesn’t have the same service as the France captain.
Just like his England future, there are also discussions about Balogun’s Arsenal future too.
He’s been linked with clubs in Italy, and a report from the Evening Standard suggests the Gunners are tempted to cash in.
Gabriel Jesus is Mikel Arteta’s nailed on starting forward, and he also has Eddie Nketiah and Leandro Trossard at his disposal.
Right now, it’s hard to see where Balogun fits in at The Emirates.
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