Folarin Balogun has joined Sam Greenwood and Joe Willock in pulling out of England youth duty with injury, before the games have even got underway.
Balogun was originally included in England’s squad announcement for the u19 side over the international break. He joined Bukayo Saka and Tyreece John-Jules from Arsenal at that level.
England later updated the announcement to confirm that Balogun had withdrawn from the squad with injury, with Ryan Edmondson taking his place. Balogun himself posted on his Instagram story that he was “gutted to be missing international duty due to injury”.
It’s certainly a shame, given the striker would’ve been making his first appearance for England at u19 level.
Joe Willock was in a similar position with the u21s, where he received his first call-up only to have to pull out with injury. Similarly, a knock Sam Greenwood picked up in his last club game still hadn’t quite cleared up in time for his participation with the u18s.
Willock’s withdrawal was only precautionary, and he should be available for Arsenal in their next game.
There’s no word yet on how serious Balogun’s injury is, but it would be a real shame if it was anything serious with the League Cup and Europa League group stage coming up. The young centre-forward has four goals and two assists in five u23/u21 games this season.