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Aigbogun Happy To Hear Arsenal’s Balogun Open To Playing For Nigeria

Aigbogun Happy To Hear Arsenal’s Balogun Open To Playing For Nigeria

Flying Eagles head coach Paul Aigbogun has welcomed the news that Arsenal young forward Folarin Balogun is open to playing for Nigeria at senior international level.

However Aigbogun says he has not spoken to the 17-year-old forward about swapping to play for the country.


Folarin 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 for Arsenal youth team this season, told the Gunners’ website.

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His declaration has caught the attention of Aigbogun, who is preparing the Flying Eagles for Under-20 World Cup in Poland which hold in May.

“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,” Aigbogun coach told BBC Sport.

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“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 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Niger last month.

Should Balogun opt to represent for the West African nation at senior level he would be following in the footsteps of other youngsters who have committed to the country of their parents.

Nigeria have previously succeeded in 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.

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