Chelsea news: Tammy Abraham refuses to rule out playing for Nigeria after hat-trick against Wolves

Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has suggested he is open to a Nigeria call-up.

The 21-year-old scored a hat-trick to take Frank Lampard’s side to a 5-2 victory against Wolves on Saturday, and is the Premier League’s joint top scorer with Sergio Aguero.

But Abraham missed out on Gareth Southgate’s latest squad, and despite winning two caps in 2017 for England, he has refused to ruled out a switch to Nigeria, the country of his father.

“I have heard the talks and I’ve not really been focused on that yet,” he said on his international future after the Wolves win.

“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.”

In 2017, Amaju Pinnick, president of the Nigerian Football Federation and a childhood friend of Abraham’s father, claimed that a then 19-year-old Abraham was ready to play for Nigeria.

While those claims were swiftly rebuffed by the Chelsea striker and he made his England debut soon after, Abraham’s latest comments appear to have reopened the door.

Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi (both Nigeria) and Wilfried Zaha (Ivory Coast) have all eschewed England eligibility to play for the countries of their birth after playing youth team or, in the case of Zaha, international football for England. Abraham was born in central London.

Abraham could make his Champions League debut on Tuesday night, with Valencia Chelsea’s first opponents at Stamford Bridge.

“I have grown up watching big stars playing in the Champions League, and to play in it myself would obviously be a dream,” he said of a potential debut.

“Players like the gaffer (Frank Lampard), Didier Drogba and John Terry are great legends. They have been there and done it. I would like to follow the same path.

“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 and hasn’t kicked in yet.

“Hopefully this is the beginning of a great career at Chelsea. I’m living the dream and I need to keep it running.”


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