Five players England were snubbed by as Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun picks USA

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta reviews the Brighton game

Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun has snubbed England to pledge his allegiance to the USA. The New York-born 21-year-old, on loan at Stade Reims, confirmed his decision on Tuesday, choosing the USMNT over other eligible nations England and Nigeria.

Balogun has scored 20 goals in France this season, leaving Americans excited about the future of US football.

And England could be left ruing his decision if he realises his potential at Arsenal or elsewhere in the coming years.

But Balogun is not the first star to reject a future playing for the Three Lions, and he certainly won’t be the last.

Express Sport pinpoints five more players who opted against representing England for another country.

Harry Kewell (Australia)

Harry Kewell’s father was born in England, which helped him secure a trial at Leeds United as a young prospect.

But he opted to represent his home nation, scoring 17 goals across 56 caps in 16 years of service and featuring at two World Cups.

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Gareth Bale (Wales)

Gareth Bale is one of Wales’ greatest-ever players and the nation’s leading goalscorer after announcing his retirement from international football after the 2022 World Cup.

He could’ve been tearing up the right flank for England through his grandmother. However, he previously admitted that he rejected the chance after receiving no personal offer, only having contact through his agent.

Wilfried Zaha (Ivory Coast)

Crystal Palace icon Wilfried Zaha actually made two appearances for England in friendlies during the 2012/13.

The non-competitive nature of his caps meant he could still walk away from England duty to represent his country of birth, the Ivory Coast, shortly after.

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Scott McTominay (Scotland)

Scott McTominay was born in England before climbing the ranks at Manchester United, but his father is Scottish.

And in 2018, former Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho urged him to opt for Scotland by claiming England didn’t value him after breaking into the first-team picture.

Jamal Musiala (Germany)

There are significant fears that Jamal Musiala could prove to be the one that got away from England in years to come.

After representing England at youth level, despite being born in Stuttgart, the 20-year-old midfielder opted for Germany in 2021, where he currently plays regularly at Bayern Munich.

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