England interim manager Gareth Southgate

England set to lose one of their best prospects to Nigeria

Nigeria coup

Nigeria are set to pinch one of England’s best talents, according to the president of the Nigerian Football Association. Amaju Pinnick told the Sun that he had persuaded Tammy Abraham to represent the Super Eagles.

He said: “I had a very honest and productive discussion with Tammy and his father last week. It’s been a long process but I can tell you authoritatively that he has agreed to play for Nigeria and not England.

“He and his parents have started the necessary documents to effect the switch. Clearly, he understands he stands a better chance playing for the Super Eagles. With his talent he has the ability to fight for a place in the Nigeria squad, by God’s grace we make it to Russia, then he would contest for a chance to represent his fatherland.”

Rise to fame

Abraham rose to fame over the last year because of his exploits for Bristol City in the Championship. A Chelsea player on loan in the second tier, he scored 26 goals in all competitions for his temporary club.

What made this feat particularly impressive was that Abraham was a teenager. Now at Swansea City for another loan spell, he turns 20 next month. He’s got the quality to warrant an international cap and England must act fast.

Abraham has delivered the goods at underage level for the Three Lions. Over the last two summers, he’s represented England in the U19 and U21 European Championships respectively. He scored a goal in the semi-final clash with Germany in the U21 tournament, taking the game to penalties. He then missed his spot-kick in the shoot-out.

It’s understandable that the youngster wants to make the most of his momentum with a World Cup place on the table from Nigeria. He has the potential to form a deadly strike partnership with Leicester’s Kelechi Iheanacho.