US hero Balogun tells Arsenal ‘no more loans’

Folarin Balogun has warned Arsenal that he will not accept another loan move (Candice Ward/USSF)

Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun found the target as the United States won the CONCACAF Nations League on Sunday and then took aim at his club’s hierarchy, saying he will not accept another loan move.

Balogun, who switched his national team allegiance from England to the US last month, spent last season on loan at French Ligue 1 club Reims where he impressed with 21 goals.

He further added to his growing reputation with a clinical strike on Sunday to seal a 2-0 win for the US against Canada, winning a medal in just his second game for his new team.

The 21-year-old said he now plans to take some vacation time but made clear he is not in the mood for another temporary transfer.

“What I can say is that I definitely won’t go on loan again,” he said.

“I’m not sure (about) the discussions that are going to take place, I’m not sure what’s going to happen. But I’m just committed to now, I try to stay present. I obviously want to enjoy the moment with my team and my family,” he said.

The New York-born striker moved to England aged two and joined Arsenal’s youth system, spending a six-month spell on loan at Championship club Middlesbrough in 2022.

Despite his breakthrough season in France, he will face a tough battle to break into the starting line-up at the Emirates where Brazil international Gabriel Jesus is the first choice centre-forward.

Arsenal also have another promising young striker in Eddie Nketiah and that situation has led Balogun to be linked with European clubs such as Inter Milan and AC Milan.

Balogun’s goal against Canada, where he latched on to a through ball from Gio Reyna and confidently fired home a first-time effort, crowned an impressive start to his life with the US team.

After making his switch in May, he joined the team in Los Angeles for a short training camp and then made his debut in a 3-0 win over Mexico on Thursday before Sunday’s trophy success.

“It’s amazing. It’s amazing. I mean, it’s a dream scenario for me,” said Balogun.

“To be here now, the transition is amazing. I’m just overwhelmed with delight,” he added.

The striker said he had been able to fit in quickly with his team-mates but said he had been impressed by the quality of the team he has joined.

“I think the thing that surprised me the most was just the actual talent in this group. I think there’s so many players who are going to go on to have top careers, who are all so young, including me,” he said.

US interim head coach B.J Callaghan praised Balogun’s impact on his team.

“I give him a lot of credit and I give the team a lot of credit for welcoming him in with open arms, making him feel part of it.

“You  get the best out of players when they feel most comfortable calm and confident.

“I’m not surprised at all how quickly Balo was able to integrate into the group and now have a really strong performance like he had tonight,” he said.



Recommended For You

About the Author: soccernews