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Abraham dumps England for Nigeria

Kevin Oghenetega Tamaraebi Bakumo-Abraham known as Tammy Abraham, who plays as a striker for English Premier League club Swansea City, on loan from Chelsea, has pledged to don the colours of the Super Eagles of Nigeria rather than the country of his birth, England.

The Point gathered that the England national under-21 team star who was born on October 2, 1997, in Camberwell, London has assured the Nigeria Football Federation boss, Amaju Pinnick, of his decision to represent Nigeria at the international level.

It was under the stewardship of Pinnick that the likes of William Troost-Ekong, Tyronne Ebuehi and Ola Aina chose to represent the Super Eagles ahead of their countries of birth.

And the ex-Delta State Sports Commission boss seems to have caught his biggest fish yet after holding talks with Abraham and his father in the English capital two weeks ago.

”I was with Tammy Abraham and his father in London two weeks ago and our meeting was positive and fruitful,” Pinnick stated.

”They have collected the forms and just the way we followed up with that of Ola Aina we would do same with Tammy.

”I can tell you that his parents are excited about the prospect of the young lad playing for Nigeria.

”But we have to be patient because we have seen with the case of Ola Aina that the process is not automatic.”

Abraham, an academy graduate of Chelsea, made his senior debut for Chelsea in 2016 before enjoying loan spells with Championship side Bristol City and Swansea. During his time with the former, he won the club’s Player of the Season and Young Player of the Season awards, as well as being their top goalscorer.

He is also an England youth international, having represented the nation from under-18 level, and featured at the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Poland.

Abraham joined Chelsea at U-8 level and progressed through the clubs academy system and was part of the Chelsea youth team which recorded back to back triumphs in both the UEFA Youth League and the FA Youth Cup in 2015 and 2016.

In the 2016 edition of the UEFA Youth League, Abraham pitched in with a return of eight goals in nine matches, making him the tournament’s second highest goal scorer behind Roberto Núñez.

He carried his form over in to the FA Youth Cup and netted the winning goal in Chelsea’s victory over Manchester City in April same year.

A further peep into his career rise showed that during the 2014–15 and 2015–16 seasons Abraham scored 74 goals in 98 matches across all competitions for Chelsea’s various youth teams.

His form at youth level caught the attention of interim manager Guus Hiddink who invited him to train with the senior team at the back end of the 2015–16 season. However on May  11, 2016, Hiddink handed Abraham his Chelsea debut in a 1–1 Premier League draw with Liverpool, bringing him on to replace Bertrand Traoré in the 74th minute. Abraham then made his home debut at Stamford Bridge the following week, once again coming on as a second-half substitute for Traoré in a 1–1 draw with the then Premier League Champions Leicester.

On July 6, 2016, Abraham was one of four Chelsea players named in Aidy Boothroyd’s squad for the U-19 European Championship. He featured in three out of four matches as England were eliminated by Italy in the semi-final.

He made his full debut for the U-21’s in their final group stage match against Bosnia & Herzegovina and netted twice in a 5–0 victory for England.

The following year, he was named in the England squad for the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Poland and scored his first, and only goal for the tournament in the semi-final against Germany.

He remains eligible to represent Nigeria through his father and has in the past been sounded out by the Nigeria Football Federation.

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