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Folarin Balogun has declared for the United States men's national team, completing the process of registering himself as a U.S. international, a FIFA source has confirmed to CBS Sports. Balogun confirmed the switch on social media. News of Balogun's formal switch will be a welcome boost to the USMNT setup where the young forward can fill the striker position that has long been a problem for the country.

The 21-year-old forward, on loan at Ligue 1 side Reims from Arsenal, was born to Nigerian parents in New York City and emigrated to England at the age of two. Balogun had represented both the US and England at the youth level, scoring seven goals in 13 caps for the latter's Under-21 side.

A FIFA spokesperson told CBS Sports: "The change of association of the player Folarin Jolaoluwa Balogun from England to the USA has been approved."

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Balogun has emerged as one of the most highly touted young strikers in the sport this season, scoring 19 goals in 34 games for Reims. He is expected to be sold by Arsenal this summer with the Gunners holding out for £35 million for their academy graduate. RB Leipzig are frontrunners among suitors from across Europe with West Ham also understood to hold an interest.

Wherever he does land, he will doubtless have the eyes of the American football community following his progress closely. Balogun's rich form in Ligue 1 this season means he will likely find himself at the top of the USMNT striker depth chart, a position currently occupied by the likes of Ricardo Pepi, Josh Sargent and Haji Wright. The World Cup served to make clear the striking difficulties for the national team with then head coach Gregg Berhalter starting Sargent, Wright and Jesus Ferreira in four games. 


None of those players have set the USMNT alight nor have they put together anything like the run of form that Balogun has at a high level. The Arsenal loanee ranks 11th across Europe's big five leagues in terms of goals, ninth in shots (he has got one fewer effort away than Erling Haaland) and second in expected goals. There will still be questions over Balogun's off ball work and how effective his link play is -- those have followed him since his time at Academy level alongside the likes of Eddie Nketiah, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe -- but the US have a player who can put the ball in the net.

Balogun could make his debut for the USA against Mexico in the CONCACAF Nations League on June 15.