‘We’d LOVE to have him’: Christian Pulisic goes into recruitment mode for Folarin Balogun… as the in-demand striker continues US tour with visit to Yankees at spring training
USA star Christian Pulisic has gotten involved in the recruitment of Folarin Balogun, saying he’d ‘love’ to have the on-loan Arsenal striker play for the Stars and Stripes.
Balogun, who currently plays in France for Reims, revealed he was in Orlando this week – at the same time the USMNT were training there ahead of their Nations League clash vs. Grenada on Friday.
He’s since popped up at George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, where the Yankees were facing the Twins in spring training on Friday.
USA interim head coach Anthony Hudson confirmed Thursday that he had spoken with the player, and now Pulisic has expressed his desire to welcome the 21-year-old into the squad.
‘Obviously I’ve seen that he’s in Florida,’ he told reporters Friday.
Folarin Balogun would instantly compete for the starting striker spot for the USMNT
Balogun holds up a custom Yankees jersey alongside relief pitcher Tommy Kahnle
Christian Pulisic and the rest of the USA squad would be more than happy to welcome Balogun
‘I haven’t really spoken to him personally, but I know some of the guys that know him from previous teams or whatever have reached out to him and spoken to him. Obviously, from our side, we’d love to have him.’
Pulisic’s comments follow similarly bullish remarks from Balogun’s Arsenal teammate Matt Turner, with the goalkeeper saying he’d be a ‘great addition to our national team.’
Balogun, who was born in New York to Nigerian parents before growing up in England, has yet to make a decision on his international future.
He’s played for England’s U21s 13 times but also turned out four times for the USA U18s, and appears to have a far clearer path to playing time with the latter country as the Three Lions’ Gareth Southgate has yet to call him up.
The striker’s trip to Florida came after he pulled out of an England U21 squad due to injury, fueling more speculation about where his international future lies.
He posted a photo to Instagram of him training in the Florida heat, before attending a Magic game that night and posing with forward Jonathan Isaac.
On Friday, he held up a custom Yankees jersey alongside reliever Tommy Kahnle.
Regardless of which country lands the player, they’ll be getting a massive talent.
Only two players (Jonathan David and Kylian Mbappe) have more goals than Balogun in Ligue 1 this season, as he’s tied for third in the division with 17.
Balogun revealed he was in Florida with a picture of him training in the state’s trademark heat
Balogun was also sighted at an Orlando Magic game – where he was given a custom jersey
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