Arsenal and England U21 star Folarin Balogun has admitted that he’s ‘open’ to switching international allegiances should Nigeria come calling.
The 21-year-old has spent the season on loan with Reims and has been an absolute revelation for the French side. He’s already scored seven goals in the league campaign – which is one more than PSG’s Lionel Messi.
With his sparkling form bringing suggestions over an international call-up, the striker has admitted that the if the Green Eagles ‘asked’ for his services then he would have to ‘have that conversation’.
Speaking to BBC Sport Africa, Balogun said: ‘I haven’t heard anything from Nigeria, but I’m open to anything because Nigeria is very close to my heart. My family’s from there. I always have love for Nigeria.’
‘That’s a conversation that I need to have with people around me, my agent and obviously my family.’
But if I was asked about the opportunity to play for Nigeria, then I can have that conversation. But first I need to be asked.’
Balogun has represented England at U17, U18, U20 and U21 level but is yet to make a senior appearance for the Three Lions. His most recent appearance saw him notch in a 3-1 win over Germany U21s last month.
Balogun has been plying his trade in France this year after spending the second half of last season in the Championship with Middlesbrough. The loan has clearly helped his development as his impressive statistics show.
He added: ‘I remember before I came here, I had a lot of advice telling me that this would be a good league for me to develop.
‘Now that I am here, I’m seeing the benefits of this league and I’m happy that I can help the team.’
He’d scored just three senior goals in his career prior to his loan move to Ligue 1. He’s now just two goals behind the league’s top scorer Kylian Mbappe.
And the Gunners’ academy product doesn’t look like slowing up any time soon after he notched the opening goal in their 2-1 win over Auxerre.
‘It was such a proud moment and a great feeling to score in front of my family but most importantly to get the win for the team,’ he said.
‘You never know what the future might hold. I just try to focus on what I’m doing with the team and focus on the season.’ (DailyMail)