The international saga of British-born Nigerian, Tammy Abraham, may not be over after both the striker and his U-21 manager gave no assurance on his full commitment to the Three Lions of England amid interest from Nigeria.
Abraham, who last month denied claims that he was switching his international allegiance to Nigeria, while leaving the doors open for a possible England call-up, was snubbed by England boss, Gareth Southgate for the country’s last round of World Cup qualifiers.
Tammy was instead called up to the U-21 squad and that decision might have triggered a rethink for the 19-year-old who is keen to play at the World Cup in Russia next year.
Abraham, who scored and grabbed an assist in Friday’s 3-1 win over Scotland’s U-21 team and also spearheaded the Young Lions’ attack as they beat Andorra 1-0 on Tuesday to continue their Euro 2019 qualifying campaign, told Skysports after the game that he was only focused on helping the team qualify for the Euro championship for now.
“There are a lot of things going on, and for me, that is a sign you are doing something right. If Nigeria are fighting for you and England want you as well, you must be doing something right.
“I’m happy right now and I just want to keep playing my football. Nothing has happened (in terms of the Nigeria FA contacting). I’m not too sure what is going on,” said the Swansea on-loan Chelsea forward.
Similarly, England U-21 manager, Aidy Boothroyd said that Nigeria could still be trying to take his top talent.
The Young Lions’ manager remains on alert after reports Tammy Abraham was considering switching allegiance to the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi elected to commit to Nigeria in March 2016 and Victor Moses switched few years back and are certain to be at the World Cup next year, with Alex securing the ticket.
“They still might be trying – you don’t know – but you can’t blame them because they’re good players.
“These are lads who have played for England, who have an affinity with us and a relationship. When it happens with Sheyi I can pick the phone up, the same with Tammy.
Alex Iwobi began his international career as a youth with England, but later switched allegiance to Nigeria.
“It’s a hard one. I can’t guarantee they are going to play because the group is so good. Tammy didn’t start the game before last but that’s just one of those things. Perhaps other countries will see that and get into him, promise him the
world and get him in the first team.
“It’s an interesting one (with Abraham). I saw, like you all did on the TV. The good thing is we have a relationship and I can pick the phone up and say ‘what’s going on mate?’
“He laughs and says he doesn’t know where it came from but it certainly didn’t come from him. Twenty minutes later, it comes across in yellow again: ‘Tammy Abraham says he’s going to play for England’,” said Young Lions’ coach.
With the World Cup in Russia less than 10 months away, only time will tell which Jersey Abraham will be donning come 2018.