Former United States forward, Eric Wynalda, has criticized England manager Gareth Southgate, accusing him of arrogance that led to the Three Lions missing out on the talented Arsenal striker, Folarin Balogun.
Balogun, who had the option to play for Nigeria, England, or the USA, recently announced his decision to represent the American national team at the senior level after previously playing for England’s youth teams.
Impressing with his performances this season at French club Reims, where he is on loan from Arsenal, Balogun has notched up an impressive record of 20 goals and three assists in 35 Ligue 1 matches.
During an interview with The Action Network, Wynalda criticized Southgate for his comments, suggesting that they hindered England’s chances of securing Balogun’s commitment.
“Southgate’s comments about this talented American playing in France were a misstep. His remark that ‘we can’t just hand out international opportunities to a player simply because we don’t want them to play for somebody else’ is something he would probably regret now,” stated Wynalda.
Wynalda further argued that Southgate had underestimated the 21-year-old striker’s abilities.
“Southgate’s dismissal of Folarin’s talent is a clear example of English arrogance. It’s time to shine a light on such instances,” added Wynalda.
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