Nigeria under-20 head coach Paul Aigbogun has welcomed the news that Arsenal young forward Folarin Balogun is open to playing for the country.
However Aigbogun says he has not spoken to the 17-year-old forward about swapping to play for Nigeria.
Balogun was born in the United States to Nigerian parents and has played for England at youth level but says he is open to changing allegiances.
“I haven’t yet declared who I will commit to internationally. I will be discussing matters with my parents and will then decide,” Balogun, who has scored 22 goals in 23 games this season, told the Arsenal website.
His declaration has caught the attention of Aigbogun, who is preparing for May’s Under-20 World Cup in Poland.
“This sounds good coming from him. I know most of the Arsenal players and this is a very talented player to have in any team,” the coach told BBC Sport.
“He is a good player, but I have not spoken to him yet.”
Nigeria’s Flying Eagles qualified for the World Cup after finishing fourth at the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Niger last month.
Should Balogun opt for the West African nation he would be following in the footsteps of other youngsters who had committed to the country of their parents.
Nigeria have previously succeeded convincing several former England youth internationals like Sone Aluko, Victor Moses, Shola Ameobi, Alex Iwobi and Ola Aina to swap allegiances.
The player is keeping all his options open for the future.
“I was born in New York, so can play for the USA. My parents were born in Nigeria and I have been in England since I was two years old, so I can play for both those countries too!” he explained.
“I have several youth caps playing for England and I enjoy their style of play which is similar to Arsenal’s.”
Balogun has been with Arsenal since the age of 10 and signed his first professional contract with the club in February.
Source link : https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/47651821
Publish date : 2019-03-21 13:02:56