Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) may have to move fast to snatch this football prodigy, Folarin Balogun before scouts from the United States of America and the United Kingdom make his playing for Nigeria a mirage. The Arsenal whizz kid signed professional football with the club a couple of days ago and the social media is abuzz with his profile and exploits at the academy level even as he says his parents would decide which country he laces his boots for.
The Arsenal wonderkid is at present in the centre of three-way international battle. The 17-year-old has represented England after being born in New York to Nigerian parents.
He has scored an amazing 22 goals in 23 appearances for the Gunners’ academy team this season.
He told arsenal.com: “I haven’t yet declared who I will commit to internationally.
“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!
“I have several youth caps playing for England and I enjoy their style of play which is similar to Arsenal‘s.
“I will be discussing matters with my parents and will then decide.”
Balogun is however delighted with his pro deal.
Writing for arsenal.com, the striker also revealed he is closely studying the game of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon.
Balogun stated: “Signing my professional contract was a proud day. I have been at the club for over a decade and it was one of the main targets that I was focused on. The real hard work continues and I want to keep progressing so that I can make it into the first team.
“The season is going really well. I feel I’ve become a more clinical finisher and have scored 22 goals in 23 games. I do a lot of work in training trying to improve and develop different ways of finishing so that when the chance comes, I’m ready to use whichever option is best. It also helps to keep defenders guessing. As the standard of the teams in which you play rises, you get less and less time and fewer opportunities on the ball. This is what drives me to be as efficient as possible in front of goal.
“I am the sort of striker that likes to play on the shoulder of the last defender and make runs behind them, similar to the way that Aubameyang plays.”