Tammy Abraham, the Premier League’s top scorer, has not ruled out playing for Nigeria despite having made two senior appearances for England in friendlies.
The 21-year-old striker, who took his tally to seven goals in three games with a hat-trick away to Wolves on Saturday, was not included in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for their recent victories against Bulgaria and Kosovo.
While Abraham said that club football is his major focus for now, he is aware of fresh speculation linking him with a switch to Nigeria and admitted that his decision may rest on whoever selects him first.
Abraham’s father is a friend of the Nigerian federation’s president, Amaju Pinnick, and when there were initial links two years ago the forward said that he was flattered by the interest but his heart was set on playing for England.
However, on Saturday evening, basking in the glory of becoming the youngest Chelsea player to score a Premier League hat-trick, he was less clear about his international future.
“I have heard the talks but I have not really been focused on that yet,” he said. “I think when the time comes, the time comes. It is about focusing on Chelsea and hopefully scoring goals and getting victories.
“We never know. You can never say never, whatever comes first really. I just have to keep full focus on Chelsea.”
Abraham, along with up to half a dozen team-mates, is in line to make his Champions League debut against Valencia at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.
Although he came off injured after 77 minutes against Wolves, it was merely a cramp in his left calf and he will be fit to face a Spanish side in disarray following their 5-2 defeat to Barcelona on Saturday night and the sacking of head coach Marcelino three days earlier.
Abraham said that his next aim is to score a first goal in Europe and is desperate to emulate Chelsea stars of old by going far in the continent’s premier competition.
“That’s the next target, definitely,” he added. “It hasn’t kicked in yet. I have grown up watching big stars playing in the Champions League. To play in it myself would obviously be a dream.
“Players like the gaffer, Frank Lampard. Didier Drogba and John Terry – great legends – they have been there and done it. I would like to follow the same path.”
To score a hat-trick against Wolves, who he almost joined on loan in January, was an “indescribable” feeling for a player who joined Chelsea as an Under-8.
With Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount also finding the net at Molineux it means that all 11 of Chelsea’s league goals have come from academy graduates.
“I am delighted to be scoring goals for a team I have grown up loving and have always wanted to play for. It is just an amazing feeling,” Abraham added.
/ 2 months ago
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