S. national team program in desperate need of a striker (should he choose the U. )? The Athletic dives in. (Photo: Getty Images)Jeff Rueter·Staff Writer, MLSGO FURTHERHow Arsenal loanee Folarin Balogun would fit with USMNT after breakout seasonJanuary 9, 2023 at 11:46 AM ESTChelsea beat Arsenal to Joao Felix loanChelsea have beaten Arsenal in the race to add Joao Felix, with the west London club reaching a verbal agreement to recruit the player on loan from Atletico Madrid. A deal has not been signed, but Chelsea are expected to pay in the region of a €11million (£9. 68m) fee, which is below what their La Liga counterparts initially wanted.
The New York City-born striker’s family emigrated to England when he was two years old, ultimately joining the Gunners’ academy at the age of 8. For over a decade, he developed while studying Arsenal forwards like Robin van Persie, Olivier Giroud and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. This season has been his breakthrough, having scored 10 goals while on loan to French Ligue 1 side Reims through the first half of the season. That’s good enough to be the club’s top scorer and open more discussion as to where his international future may lie, as Balogun is eligible to represent England, the United States and Nigeria. And while Arsenal has yet to recall him as a replacement for the injured Gabriel Jesus, his torrid form has opened a lucrative potential transfer market for teams in need of a goalscorer. What has made Balogun so successful in France, and how might he fit in to a U.