Tammy Abraham, the red hot Chelsea football club of England striker, may have opted to play for the Three Lions of England instead of the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
Though he said earlier in the week, that he “has not decided” on his international future, after scoring in Wednesday’s Champions League, it appears that his international career status may be confirmed when European the European football calendar enters the next the international break next week.
This is because England manager Gareth Southgate has called him up, with his other Nigerian compatriot in Chelsea, Fikayo Tomoro, into the senior squad on Thursday, October 3, for forthcoming European Championship qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.
The 22-year-old is yet to play in a competitive fixture for England but appeared in friendly draws with Germany and Brazil in 2017.
He is eligible to play for Nigeria despite featuring at three youth team levels for England.
“I haven’t made a decision yet. I am focusing on the club. It is always a privilege to be wanted by both nations,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “I love both nations and for me I am clearly doing something right for Chelsea. My time will come,” said Abraham.
Kevin Oghenetega Tamaraebi Bakumo-Abraham was born in England, in a South London District called Camberwell on the 2nd of October 1997.
He hails from Bayelsa State in the Ijaw ethnic nationality of Nigeria but his other name, Oghenetega also suggests that he has some Delta Urhobo connection.
Abraham was part of the England Under-21s’ European Championship squad this summer but despite being an England youth international, and having featured in non-competitive fixtures for the senior team, Abraham remains eligible to represent Nigeria through his paternal lineage and has also received overtures by the Nigerian Football Association in the past.
Abraham’s father is close friends with Nigeria Football Federation President, Amaju Pinnick and on 21 September 2017, Pinnick claimed that Abraham had switched his allegiance to Nigeria. Abraham had to issue a statement the same day denying the claim and reaffirming his availability for England selection.
Upon receiving his first England call-up in November 2017, Abraham stated that there was never any prospect of him choosing to play for Nigeria.
“I am from an area where I have grown up with different culture backgrounds. I am fully aware Nigeria is a massive country,” Abraham added.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, also speaking to 5 Live, added: “Tammy is handling the situation as he does with everything in life. He takes it with enthusiasm, happiness, desire to work.
“He wants to be the best and with that comes international recognition. I say it every day, it is his decision and the next decision on that front is for Gareth. I never want to tell him what to do.”
Lampard said he hoped to see “many more” goals from Abraham, who linked up with compatriot Fikayo Tomori to score against Lille – the first time since March 2012 that two Englishmen were involved in the same goal in the Champions League for Chelsea.
“Tammy’s performance was more of the same of what we have been seeing. He’s hungry for goals, he’s physical, he gives everything for the team, he has quality with the ball at his feet.
“It’s his first Champions League goal and we’ll see many more, I hope, and many more performances like that,” Lampard enthused.
Now that Tammy Abraham has been called up into the senior England team, Nigerians will watch with keen interest, if he will be featured in any of the forthcoming competitive international games in the European Championship qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, or if he will end up as an unused substitute, which will still technically make him eligible play for the Super Eagles of his fatherland, Nigeria.