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Matt Turner says he and Folarin Balogun bonded over American roots during Arsenal preseason



Balogun’s International Future

Arsenal players, Matt Turner and Folarin Balogun, bonded over their American roots during the team’s preseason. It has recently been discussed that Balogun’s international future is up in the air. As the on-loan striker has performed spectacularly in Ligue 1, scoring 17 goals for Reims, he is eligible to play for Nigeria, England, and the USMNT.

Balogun was called up to play for England’s U21 team, although he withdrew due to an injury. In comparison, he has played for England’s youth ranks more recently than the US national team.

Turner’s Insight

Turner, who plays for the New England Revolution, has had conversations with Balogun about his future. While Turner believes that Balogun would make a great addition to the US national team, he also believes that the decision has to come from the heart. It’s not an easy task to play in these CONCACAF games, and Turner thinks Balogun’s heart needs to be in it.

Turner revealed that the extent of his relationship with Balogun is mostly checking in on each other now and then. Balogun could certainly be a valuable player on the USMNT team, but only if he decides that his heart is in playing for them.

The Bigger Picture

If Balogun decides he wants to play for the USMNT, he could fill the striker position the team has been struggling with during the 2022 cycle. Failure to find a true goal scorer has left the team with Ricardo Pepi, Josh Sargent, Daryl Dike, Jesus Ferreira, Jordan Pefok, Haji Wright, and Brandon Vazquez pushing to fill that role for the 2026 cycle.

USMNT’s Future

The USMNT will play their return game in the Nations League against Grenada on Friday before hosting El Salvador in Orlando on Monday.

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