England hopeful Folarin Balogun will reject USA advances

Graeme Bailey
Folarin Balogun called up by England
Folarin Balogun called up by England / Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

England remain hopeful that Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun will commit his long-term international future to the Three Lions after his promotion to the Under-21s.

Balogun, who started Arsenal's first game of the season at Brentford, has played for England throughout his youth career, but has also played for the USA at Under-18 level. He is eligible to play for Nigeria too, and it is understood they have also contacted him.

90min has been told that England are committed to Balogun, who was born in New York before his family moved to London when he was two, and they are determined not lose him to USA.

Balogun’s future is still up in the air until he features at senior level, so even though he has been named in Lee Carsley’s new look U21 set-up, it does not mean his long-term future lies with the Three Lions.

The Gunners striker does have some ties within USA squad as his good friend Yunus Musah, who he played with at Arsenal before his move to Valencia. recently committed his future to the USMNT having also played for England at youth level.

Balogun is one of a number new faces at Under-21 level - Joe Bursik, Max Aarons, Marc Guehi, Ryan Sessegnon, Conor Gallagher, Curtis Jones, Ollie Skipp, Rhian Brewster, Noni Madueke and Emile Smith Rowe are the only players in Carsley's most recent squad who have previously played at this level before.

One new face to the England set-up is Colchester-born goalkeeper Etienne Green – who plays for Ligue 1 side Saint-Etienne and grew up in France. He had previously been called up by France but he has now switched his allegiance to the Young Lions.

England Under-21 squad in full to play Romania and Kosovo:

Goalkeepers: Joe Bursik (Stoke City), Etienne Green (St. Etienne), Josh Griffiths (Lincoln City, loan from West Bromwich Albion)

Defenders: Max Aarons (Norwich City), Levi Samuels-Colwill (Huddersfield Town, loan from Chelsea), Charlie Cresswell (Leeds United), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Taylor Harwood-Bellis (Anderlecht, loan from Manchester City), Valentino Livramento (Southampton), Ryan Sessegnon (Tottenham Hotspur), Luke Thomas (Leicester City)

Midfielders: Tommy Doyle (Manchester City), Conor Gallagher (Crystal Palace, loan from Chelsea), Jimmy Garner (Nottingham Forest, loan from Manchester United), Curtis Jones (Liverpool)*, Cole Palmer (Manchester City), Jacob Ramsey (Aston Villa), Oliver Skipp (Tottenham Hotspur),

Forwards: Folarin Balogun (Arsenal), Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United), Harvey Elliott (Liverpool), Tyreece John-Jules (Blackpool, loan from Arsenal), Noni Madueke (PSV Eindhoven), Emile Smith-Rowe (Arsenal)