Football News

Why Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham could be England’s hero despite Nigeria links

By Harry Edwards

Published: 13:00, 2 October 2019

Tammy Abraham looks set to earn his first competitive call up for the England senior team.

The 22-year-old striker has enjoyed a good season at Chelsea so far, scoring seven goals in seven games, with only Sergio Aguero managing more in the Premier League.

Abraham for England: Five things to know…

  • Abraham has scored seven goals in seven Premier League games so far this season.
  • Only Aguero (eight) and Robert Lewandowski (10) have more in Europe’s top five leagues.
  • Abraham has scored with 30.43% of his shots on goal, the fourth-best record in the Premier League.
  • The 22-year-old has been tipped to earn a call up to England’s senior squad this week.
  • Abraham is also eligible for Nigeria through his father.

Abraham represented England at youth level and has also made two appearances for Gareth Southgate’s senior side, starting against Germany and coming off the bench to face Brazil in friendlies in November 2017.

But as Abraham is yet to make a competitive appearance for England, there are still some doubts over his international future. Despite coming through the ranks of England’s youth teams and being born in London, Abraham is eligible to represent Nigeria at international level through his father.

Doubts over his future with England were somewhat enhanced last month when Abraham was a slightly surprise omission from the Three Lions squad to face Bulgaria and Kosovo.

“I have heard the talks and I’ve not really been focused on that yet,” Abraham said amid the reports of switching to Nigeria.

“I think when the time comes, the time comes. We never know.

“You can never say never, whatever comes first really.

“It is about focusing on Chelsea and hopefully scoring goals and getting victories.”

Abraham would not have been the first former England youth international to switch to the Super Eagles, with both Alex Iwobi and Ola Aina representing the Three Lions as youngsters. And Nigeria fans were keen to push on the competition for places Abraham would have at England, when trying to get the young striker to switch.

But, Abraham has already proven this season that he can hold his own.

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The 22-year-old is the top-scoring Englishman in Europe’s top five leagues having scored seven goals, while only Aguero (eight) and Robert Lewandowski (10) have managed more altogether.

In the Premier League, only three forwards have a better shot conversion rate than Abraham, among those to have had at least five shots.

Jamie Vardy and Callum Wilson lead the way with 38.46%, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang brings up third place with 33.33%. Then comes Abraham, who has converted 30.43% of his shots so far this season, an impressive amount considering this is his first season as the starting striker for a top six club. Premier League top scorer Aguero is slightly behind on 29.65%.

When compared to his attacking rivals among Englishmen, Abraham continues to shine brightly. With Vardy having retired from international duty, there’s only Wilson ahead of Abraham for shot conversion. Jadon Sancho comes in next with 30% conversion, though the teenager would not be in direct competition with Abraham, nor would Raheem Sterling with his 27.27% conversion rate.

However, Abraham does sit pretty clear of England’s starting striker Harry Kane, who has converted 21.74% of his shots, while Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, who can play both on the wing and central, has managed a meagre 14.29%.