‘I’m Open To Playing For Nigeria’ —Arsenal Striker, Balogun

Arsenal and England Under-21 forward Folarin Balogun said he would consider playing for Nigeria at a senior international level.

Balogun, 21, who is on loan to French club Reims from Arsenal, was born in the United States to Nigerian parents and has represented England at four different youth levels.

But under FIFA rules, Balogun would be free to switch to represent Nigeria at a senior level because he has not played for the England senior team competitively.

And despite scoring his seventh goal for the Young Lions in a 3-1 friendly win over Germany in September, Balogun hasn’t ruled out playing for the Super Eagles in the future.

“I haven’t heard anything from Nigeria but I’m open to anything because Nigeria is very close to my heart,” he told BBC Sport Africa.

“My family is from there. I always have love for Nigeria.”

Nigeria had already welcomed the possibility of having Balogun in the colors of the three-time African champion.

In 2020, then-Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr said he was an exciting prospect who could “add bite” to his offense.

And despite racking up 11 goals in 26 matches for England, from Under-17 to Under-21 level, Balogun says he won’t close the door on Nigeria.

“This is a conversation I need to have with the people around me, my agent and obviously my family,” added Balogun.

“But if I was asked about the opportunity to play for Nigeria, I can have that conversation. But first I need to be asked.”

Balogun has been in great shape for Reims, scoring the first goal in the 2-1 victory over Auxerre on Sunday, giving the Reds and Whites their first home victory of the campaign.

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