Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham is enjoying a breakthrough season in the Premier League but the youngster is torn between playing for Nigeria and England, a situation that is all too familiar to a former England international.
John Fashanu has banked on his own experience to warn his Anglo-Nigerian compatriot Tammy Abraham to think twice before opting to play for the Three Lions instead of the Super Eagles as that decision may bring regret much later.
The 21-year-old Tammy, who has a Nigerian father, has been the source of an international tug of war between the two traditional footballing nations with many believing that the rising star prefers to play for Gareth Southgate’s side.
However, former Wimbledon FC of England striker John Fashanu has warned Tammy Abraham not to make the same mistakes he made over two decades ago.
“When I got to Nigeria myself and I came three times, I realized that Nigeria football and English football are completely different,” Fashanu told Television Continental (TVC), a Lagos based television channel.
“Nigerian football was taken from the Brazilians but football in England is rough, bullish and aggressive, completely different. That was many years ago.
“I realized that I could not play the Nigerian football. I was happy that as a black Nigerian, I would be able to break into the English national team.
”Possibly one of the best and biggest country in the world certainly then it was wonderful. To play with Paul Gascoigne, Peter Shilton, they were legends.
Tammy Abraham has scored seven goals in the Premier League this season, the latest of which was a delicious hat trick at the Molineux in Chelsea’s 5-2 spanking of Wolves.
Fashanu is of the opinion that the young Nigerian lad can do that for many years in the colours of the Super Eagles as against a couple of matches for the Three Lions.
“So I say to Tammy, think very well. When I went to play for England I could have played 100 games for the Super Eagles,” Fashanu added.
“But I got to play only two games for England (in 1989). Understand that if you are going to play for England, you are going to play four or five matches only because competition is stiff,” Fashanu concluded.