Chelsea striker Tammy (Oghenetega) Abraham hints he could choose Nigeria over England
By James Gray
Tammy Abraham rocketed to the top of the Premier League race for the Golden Boot with a hat-trick on Saturday but his future at international level is yet to be decided. Abraham was born in London and has been at Chelsea since the age of seven but had never scored a senior goal for the club until this season when he opened his account with a double against Norwich.
The striker added two more against Sheffield United and then went one better on Saturday against Wolves to make it seven in three and take him past the likes of Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford in the goal-scoring charts. Abraham could be in line for a call-up in Gareth Southgate’s next England squad when they take on the Czech Republic on October 11 and Bulgaria on October 14.
He has already played for the Three Lions twice but only in friendlies, meaning he could still switch allegiances to Nigeria, for whom he qualifies through his father, something the player himself has refused to rule out. ‘I have heard the talk [about being called up by Nigeria],’ Abraham said. ‘When the time comes, the time comes ‘I have not really focused on that yet.
I’m focusing on Chelsea and hopefully scoring goals and getting victories. ‘We never know. You can never say never … whatever comes first really.’ Abraham broke a number of records on Saturday as he became the youngster ever Chelsea player to score a Premier League hat-trick.
He also equalled Dele Alli and Cristiano Ronaldo by becoming only the third player ever to score two or more goals in three straight league games while still aged 21 or under. But his Chelsea manager Frank Lampard insists he has not spoken to Abraham about his international future, even though he has been impressed by his progress. ‘Tammy is [looking the part] and that’s work, having gone out on loan and scoring a lot of goals in the Championship, having a year in the Premier League and now I think he feels the responsibility of the Chelsea shirt as he should.
The last three games speak for themselves,’ Lampard said yesterday. ‘The only challenge for Tammy now is can he keep doing it? Can he get better and better because the way he’s playing, he’s a huge threat for us up front and there is competition within from [Olivier] Giroud and [Michy] Batshuayi so he needs to keep it at that level and get even better.’