Abraham in line for England call-up as right-backs give Southgate a headache

Date published: Wednesday 2nd October 2019 1:58 - James Marshment

In-form Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham is in line for an England call-up when Gareth Southgate announced his latest squad on Thursday afternoon.

Gareth Southgate will name his squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers away to the Czech Republic and Bulgaria at Wembley on Thursday.

The Three Lions boss named a 25-man group for last month’s qualification double header, with Abraham a somewhat surprising omission given his fine start to the season at Chelsea.

The 22-year-old has continued to show promise and PA understands that the striker is under strong consideration ahead of Thursday’s announcement.

Abraham has netted seven goals in nine appearances in all competitions for Chelsea and has also been attracting admiring glances from Nigeria, who he remains eligible for despite winning two senior England caps in the friendlies against Germany and Brazil in November 2017.

Southgate said of the striker’s eligibility last month: “I think with Tammy, he’s a young player that we’ve always liked, we know he’ll score goals.

“We felt (that it was a) bit early this time, but we really can see that he can offer us something moving forward.

“We obviously gave him a cap back in November of 2017. So, for sure, we need to make certain that he feels that the opportunity is going to be there. I’m pretty sure he does. He knows us well enough.”

Chelsea team-mate Fikayo Tomori is another England youth prospect eligible for Nigeria, plus the defender is able to play for Canada.

Southgate will again be without John Stones through injury. Uncapped Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings came into the group last month, while James Tarkowski is hoping for a recall.

Southgate has to decide whether Callum Hudson-Odoi is ready to return given the Chelsea teenager has only made two appearances since rupturing an Achilles in April, while Jesse Lingard’s struggles at Manchester United raise questions over his inclusion.

Dele Alli, Eric Dier and Fabian Delph will be hoping to return to the fold, while an abundance of options at right-back continues to give Southgate a headache.

 

 

World Cup semi-finalist Kyle Walker was omitted from the last meet-up, when uncapped Aaron Wan-Bissaka was included for the first time along with Trent Alexander-Arnold and a resurgent Kieran Trippier. Wan-Bissaka pulled out of the last squad with a back issue and will miss a second Manchester United match with tonsillitis on Thursday evening.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek remains out and Manchester City teenager Phil Foden continues to be on Southgate’s radar.

The 19-year-old has only made four appearances at club level this term but received a glowing reference from England star Raheem Sterling after coming off the bench to score in Tuesday’s Champions League win against Dinamo Zagreb.

“The players that we have here, you have to read the game and the goals will come,” Sterling said.

“I am buzzing for Phil and I want him in the national team. If he keeps going the way he has, he will be there.”

 

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