By Johnny Edward:
Swansea manager Paul Clement hopes Tammy Abraham pledges his allegiance to England rather that Nigeria who are attempting to lure him into playing for the Super Eagles.
Clement believes Abraham committing his future to England will be better off than representing Nigeria, the country of the young striker’s parents.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President Amaju Pinnick revealed on Thursday through the NFF’s official website that he is hopeful of persuading the England Under-21 international to for Nigeria despite having featured for the England U-16s, U-19s and U-21s.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Watford, Clement said: “For me, from my point of view, I hope he (Abraham) stays with the English national team.
“I’m not sure he’d be better off career-wise, I’m saying it because I’m English and he’s a good English talent, so you want him involved with your national team.
“Ultimately, it’s the decision of the player. In some cases, they’ll make the choice because they see a better opportunity, a chance of playing more regularly at international level and in other cases, it’s because it’s where they believe they’re from and they want to represent the country where they were born or where their parents were born and it’s in their culture.
“Whatever their reasons are, it’s down to the player to decide.
“The fact that he’s come through the English system, first at Academy level and also playing for the English national teams, I think that puts them at an advantage.”
Abraham, 19, is currently on a season-long loan at Swansea from Chelsea and has scored two goals in seven appearances.
Clement has been pleased with Abraham’s start at the club.
“He has made the biggest step of his career,” the manager added. “I’m not surprised how he’s done so far, I think he’s done fine and he’s going to get better and better.
“The biggest step in going to the Premier League. You see it so many times, young players making the step and how difficult it is, how difficult it is for foreign players to come over and make that step into this league.
“He’s done lots of good things and he’s done some things where he could have improved, but he’s in a good environment to get the right kind of help. Myself, the coaches work with all our players helping them get better at what they’re not so good at.”