Pulisic Backs Folarin to Dump Nigeria for USA
Nigeria Football Federation’s hope of having Folarin Balogun play for the Super Eagles may have suffered some setbacks after Chelsea star Christian Pulisic has revealed he would love Arsenal-owned striker to play for the United States national team.
Balogun qualifies to represent the Americans because he was born in New York, but he’s provisionally cap-tied to England where he grew up and also eligible for a third country, Nigeria, through his parents.
There has been intense speculation over the international future of Balogun in recent weeks and on Tuesday, he withdrew from the England U21 squad ahead of their friendlies, citing an undisclosed injury, which added fuel to the rumors that he is considering switching his allegiance from England to the United States.
The Hale End Academy product has been in sensational form for Stade de Reims since his loan move to France, scoring 18 goals in 29 all-competition appearances.
Pulisic was eligible to play for Croatia’s national team through his grandparents but declined the opportunity in favour of representing his country of birth, United States.
The Chelsea winger is urging Balogun to emulate him by choosing to play for the United States, rather than England or Nigeria.
In quotes relayed by Goal.com, Pulisic said : “I haven’t really spoken to him personally. I know some of the guys that know him from previous teams or whatever have reached out to him and spoken to him. From our side, we’d love to have him.”
US Soccer previously beat Nigeria to the services of Oguchi Onyewu and Maurice Edu who both represented the Stars and Stripes at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Nigerian-born defender George Bello and West Brom’s Daryl Dike are cap-tied to the Americas, with the latter making the roster for Nations League matches this month.