Balogun pulls out of England u21 squad

Balogun pulls out of England u21 squad

Reims’ English forward Folarin Balogun (C) fights for the ball with Nice’s Brazilian defender Dante (R) during the French L1 football match between OGC Nice and Stade de Reims at the Allianz Riviera Stadium in Nice, south-eastern France, on February 18, 2023. (Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

England Football report that Folarin Balogun has been removed from the England u21 squad for their upcoming matches against France and Croatia.

As per the statement, Balogun will miss the matches “after reporting an injury following Stade de Reims’ defeat to Marseille on Sunday”.

Balogun scored and completed the full 90 minutes in the Marseille clash, but the nature of the narrow defeat and his importance to Reims as a goalscorer certainly suggests he could’ve played on despite not feeling 100%.

Reims have scored 36 league goals this season, and Balogun has scored 17 of those on his own.

If you include his assist and the penalty he won for another goal, the Arsenal loanee has been involved in more than half of Reims’ Ligue 1 goals this campaign.

Reims’ midfielder Folarin Balogun celebrates after scoring a penalty during the French L1 football match between Stade de Reims and FC Nantes at the Auguste-Delaune stadium in Reims, northern France on November 6, 2022. (Photo by FRANCOIS NASCIMBENI/AFP via Getty Images)

We have to assume the injury is genuine, but the timing is undoubtedly going to spark further speculation about Balogun’s international future.

After the England squad was announced without Balogun in it, he posted on Instagram: “In life, go where [you’re] appreciated.”

Balogun is eligible for England, Nigeria, and the U.S., with USMNT interim boss Anthony Hudson suggesting they’re pushing to convince him to pick them.

“All I’ll say, there is open dialogue with him and his team,” Hudson said. “That dialogue is continuing. That’s all I can say.”


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