Chelsea starting center forward Tammy Abraham, currently tied for fourth on the Premier League goalscoring charts with four goals, was a slightly surprising omission from the England squad for this international break — Callum Wilson taking his spot instead.
This has led to some renewed speculation that the 21-year-old could be convinced to switch allegiance to the country of his heritage (by way of both of his parents), Nigeria. While Abraham does have two England caps, they both came in non-competitive matches and he would thus be eligible to switch. Abraham’s father apparent friendship with the current head of the Nigerian Football Federation hasn’t hurt the speculation either.
But while subsequent rumors played down the idea of Abraham trading Three Lions for Super Eagles, England boss Gareth Southgate has moved to assure that opportunities are going to be there for the youngster to prove his mettle at the senior international level as well.
“I think with Tammy, he’s a young player that we’ve always liked, we know he’ll score goals. We felt [that it was a] bit early this time, but we really can see that he can offer us something moving forward. We obviously gave him a cap back in November of 2017.
“So, for sure, we need to make certain that he feels that the opportunity is going to be there. I’m pretty sure he does, he knows us well enough.”
-Gareth Southgate; source: Mirror
In fairness to Southgate, Abraham’s brace against Sheffield United, a second consecutive two-goal performance for Chelsea, came after the squad was announced. If Abraham keeps up his goal-per-game pace, he surely won’t be overlooked next time!