FIFA approved the transfer of Folarin Balogun from England to the United States.
The 21-year-old striker, who played for the United States at under-18 level before moving to England, can represent either country because he was born in Brooklyn, New York but moved to London when he was two years old. He is also eligible to represent Nigeria.
FIFA rules enable players to switch national eligibility before making a highly competitive appearance at international level.
Balogun spent the 2022-23 season on loan at Reims from Arsenal, scoring 19 times in 34 league matches.
He was called up to the England Under-21 squad for the March matches against France and Germany but withdrew due to a hamstring injury.
Balogun traveled to Orlando, where the USA was training, during the international window. Interim USA coach Anthony Hudson acknowledged that “discussions” took place with the forward during the March international break, adding that it was “an opportunity to share about our programme.”
Folarin Balogun’s Impactful Journey in Orlando: Complete Timeline
Speaking after his squad for internationals was announced in March, England boss Gareth Southgate said Balogun would have to be patient with regards to being called up to the first team.
“It’s up to the player to know what his heart feels,” said Southgate. “Is he willing to wait a bit for an opportunity if he supports himself and feels he can force his way into our team? Because anyone who has followed us will know we are going to give young players a chance.
“So, we can’t go and give first-team call-ups to someone just because we don’t want them to go somewhere else.”
Balogun appeared in four matches for the United States U-18 national team in 2018, before going on to represent England at various youth levels.
The United States will be next in action on June 16 when they face Mexico in the CONCACAF Nations League. The CONCACAF Gold Cup, hosted by the United States, takes place between June 24 and July 16.
What does Folarin Balogun’s eruption mean for his international future?
(Photo: Getty Images)
“Alcohol enthusiast. Twitter ninja. Tv lover. Falls down a lot. Hipster-friendly coffee geek.”