Abraham sees himself as ‘long-term England player’ despite Nigeria’s interest in striker

Tammy Abraham pictured during the media day at St Georges Park, Burton, ahead of Englands matches with Germany and Brazil. The Chelsea player, on loan at Swansea, is a part of Englands senior set-up for the first time (Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire).
Tammy Abraham pictured during the media day at St Georges Park, Burton, ahead of Englands matches with Germany and Brazil. The Chelsea player, on loan at Swansea, is a part of Englands senior set-up for the first time (Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire).
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Tammy Abraham has pledged his long-term future to England, despite Nigeria attempting to sway the striker their way.

The 20-year-old was watching Sky Sports News last Thursday when it flashed up that manager Gareth Southgate was handing him a maiden senior call-up, with Germany and Brazil now lying in wait for a striker on loan at Swansea from Chelsea.

Abraham has represented England at youth levels, but in September Nigeria football federation president Amaju Pinnick – a childhood friend of the striker’s father – spoke of his confidence the eligible youngster would commit to them.

Victor Moses has previously gone from the Young Lions to the Super Eagles, while Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha won two senior England caps in friendlies before switching his allegiance to the Ivory Coast.

Abraham, though, says playing for England is his only focus right now.

“I see myself as being a long-term England player,” he said. “That is where my main focus is and now that I am here, I am 100 per cent focused here and trying to get into that team as much as I can, really, so my main focus would be here and nowhere else for now.” Asked if he felt like he had a decision to make, he added: “I think I was pretty set on England, really.

“Playing in the Premier League, it would be nice obviously to make it into the England team as well. My main focus was here and nowhere else.

“Of course (it was flattering), but for me my main focus was here. But it is obviously nice to know that I was doing something right and going in the right direction.

“I think (Nigeria) tried to (roll out the red carpet), but, like I said, the main focus was here so there was no way of trying to do that for me, really.”

The international break promises to be quite a learning curve for Abraham, who only has 12 top-flight appearances to his name.

“It would be a massive achievement for me and a big confidence boost as well, it would show that I’m going in the right direction,” he said. “If I do get my opportunity I’d like to grab it as much as I can.

“I feel like I’m ready, but it won’t be easy. I just have to keep proving to the manager in training and showing why he picked me and just keep working as hard as I can.

“I just want to go out there, enjoy myself and show to the world what I’m truly made of.”

However, Abraham is under no illusion about the challenge that lies ahead of him, with former England and Arsenal striker Ian Wright tempering congratulations with advice that “now the hard work begins”.

“Of course this is just the beginning,” the 20-year-old added.

“Now that I am here I have to keep pushing as much as I can. This is my chance and I will try and take my opportunity as much as I can.

“(Wright) was a bit before my time, but I watch his videos on YouTube and he had everything as a striker. There are parts of that I need to bring into my game as well.

There weren’t really any doubts because I have confidence in myself and belief in my ability and my desire to work as hard as I can.”