Former England international defender Martin Keown has voiced his disappointment over the decision of England Youth International striker Tammy Abraham who has agreed to switch allegiance to Nigeria.
Already Nigeria have started processing his switch and he could make his debut for them in the World Cup 2018 Qualifiers tie against Algeria, If Nigeria are able to secure qualification with a win against Zambia next month.
On loan to Swansea City from Chelsea, the 19 year old who represented England at the recently concluded European Championship, and even scored for the team last month is widely regarded as one of the finest teen strikers in England at the moment.
Keown while responding to questions on Tackle Keown which was conducted by the Dailmail.co.uk revealed his disappointment in the lad, as he few views him as a prospect who could be of immense important to England in the future.
Read his statement below.
I feel a little bit disappointed by that.
Gareth Southgate will know him well from their time together at the Under-21s. England have put a lot of time and effort into him, and realistically he is only at the start of his career. I don’t know why he feels he has to make that decision right now.
I get it – you have a strong pull from your parents. He was born to Nigerian parents. I’m sure he feels as Nigerian as he does English.
We lost Iwobi to Nigeria as well, Zaha has just started playing for the Ivory Coast.
He’s a huge talent and he’s developing nicely, but he’s still only a young boy. It’s a premature decision. It would be a really disappointing thing for the English FA if he went off and played for Nigeria.
The likes of Abraham, when they go to the big clubs, they become frustrated. He’s now seeing the lights at Swansea, having impressed at Bristol City. He’s now seeing that nothing beats playing.
It makes sense to want to play internationally too. He would have been brought up with the dual nationality. I had the same thing – my parents are Irish. Even to this day I feel as Irish as I do English.
My dad said to me that you play for the country you were born in. He made that decision for me. Who are we to judge Abraham for this? But he does need to be made to feel that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for him in terms of England.