Crystal Palace are reportedly interested in signing England U21 international of Nigerian descent Tammy Abraham. According to the Guardian UK, The Eagles will target the loan market and retain an interest in Abraham, who spent the entirety of last season on loan at relegated Premier League club Swansea City. The striker made 39 appearances across all competitions for The Swans and was directly involved in 13 goals (8 goals, 5 assists). He has been on the payroll of Chelsea since 2004 and has played two games for the first team, against Liverpool and Leicester City during the 2015-2016 season. New Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has been watching Abraham in pre-season and handed him minutes on the pitch in the friendlies against Perth Glory and Inter Milan.
Tammy Abraham had turned down overtures earlier to represent Nigeria and went ont to feature for England, ending the speculations that might switch his allegiance to the country of his parents. He met with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) who tried to convince him to switch but he made the decision to play for England. There are surely a number of reasons he rejected the Super Eagles.Although born to Nigerian parents, Abraham is English through and through. Born and raised in London, Abraham is only familiar to football in England. This could be why the striker has chosen to stick with England. Abraham has played for England U-18, U-19 and U-21. This is the culture he has known all his life, so why abandon it for the unfamiliar territory of Nigerian football?
Getting all his football education in England means Abraham has had access to the best football facilities the world has to offer. With the Three Lions of England, he has a chance to world class training facilities and technical education. With the England national team, he will have access to the £100m St George’s Park which the Football Association launched in 2012. This alone is a reason Abraham would choose to remain with England.
England youth teams have had tremendous success in the last five months; their U-17 just won the FIFA U-17 World Cup title same as the U-20 who won the FIFA U-2- World Cup in June. Their U-19 lifted the European Championship while their U-21 reached the semi-final of their European Championship. One thing is common with all of these English youth teams, they have black and foreign players. Six Nigerian-born players were in the England squad that won the U-20 World Cup in June. Following these successes, the Football Association are open to follow the models of their youth teams and allow more players of foreign descent into their senior team. The United Kingdom may have voted Brexit but the FA are not with them on that one and it’s an opportunity for Abraham to get into the England senior side.
If Abraham is looking for an inspiration in a Nigerian-born player who has had success with the Three Lions, he won’t find one. Most players who have threaded this same part have been used sparingly by England and dumped for big tournaments. But the 20-year-old striker wants to prove that it is possible and that could be the motivation for staying put with England.
Abraham would have taken a look at English players in his position and believe he will get his chance. Harry Kane at 24 is and will be the undisputed number England striker bar an unexpected decline in his career. Daniel Sturridge injury problem is still a huge problem for him, Marcus Rashford is not considered to be a striker neither is Daniel Welbeck while at 30, Jamie Vardy‘s international career is almost at wind-up.These situations might have encouraged Abraham that he indeed has a chance with the England national team.