Chelsea hotshot Tammy Abraham refuses to rule out playing for Nigeria over England

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Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has not ruled out playing for Nigeria.

The 21-year-old, who is the Premier League’s joint leading scorer alongside Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero with seven goals, has two senior England caps to his name, won in friendlies against Germany and Brazil in 2017.

Nigeria have been hoping Abraham can be persuaded to switch allegiance to them.

And when asked about the Nigeria interest, he was quoted by The Telegraph as saying: “I have heard the talks and I’ve not really been focused on that yet.

“I think when the time comes, the time comes. We never know.

“You can never say never, whatever comes first really. It is about focusing on Chelsea and hopefully scoring goals and getting victories.”

Abraham netted a hat-trick for the Blues in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves, having scored back-to-back braces in the previous two matches.

The Chelsea academy graduate has made an impact for the club this term after spending the last three seasons on loan at Bristol City, Swansea and then Aston Villa.

On Tuesday he could make his Champions League debut when Valencia visit Stamford Bridge.

And he said: “I have grown up watching big stars playing in the Champions League, and to play in it myself would obviously be a dream.

“Players like the gaffer (Frank Lampard), Didier Drogba and John Terry are great legends. They have been there and done it. I would like to follow the same path.

“I am delighted to be scoring goals for a team I have grown up loving and have always wanted to play for. It is just an amazing feeling and hasn’t kicked in yet.

“Hopefully this is the beginning of a great career at Chelsea. I’m living the dream and I need to keep it running.”

Earlier in the week, England boss Gareth Southgate said, after not naming Abraham in his most recent squad: “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.”

Copy provided by Press Association Sport

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang admits Arsenal are giving away goals very easily

Sport360 staff 16/09/2019
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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang feels Arsenal are conceding goals very easily.

The North Londoners were held to a 2-2 draw away from home by Watford in what was a poor defensive performance. Striker Aubameyang scored a brace before half-time to provide his team total control ahead of the second half.

But goals from Tom Cleverly and Roberto Pereyra ensured that the teams shared spoils at Vicarage road.

The Gabon international admitted that Arsenal are giving away goals carelessly and need to work on it.

“Obviously we didn’t expect that [the comeback],” the 30-year-old told Canal Plus.

“We knew that they were going to try and come back with good intentions, of the kind they demonstrated in the second half.

“Sadly, we were not able to deal with them well. I feel like we are literally giving goals to the opposition, it is up to us to progress in that respect.”

Arsenal next travel to Eintracht Frankfurt for a Europa League clash before hosting Aston Villa in the Premier League.

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Steve Bruce claims Roberto Firmino's performance was reminiscent of Eric Cantona

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Roberto Firmino has been likened to Eric Cantona as he spearheads Liverpool’s bid for Premier League glory.

The Brazilian came off the bench to inspire his side’s 3-1 comeback win over Newcastle that moved them five points clear at the top.

And, for Toon manager Steve Bruce, it was reminiscent of Cantona, the flamboyant French forward who proved the catalyst for Manchester United when they ended a 26-year wait for a top-flight title in 1993.

Firmino, alongside Sadio Mane and Mo Salah, is integral to Liverpool’s hopes of winning a championship for the first time since 1990.

And Bruce, who captained United during Cantona’s era, sees similarities as he said: “Ah yes, similar in that he’s one that drifts into that little area and he naturally does it, where it’s so difficult for defenders to go. And his attitude and work rate, it’s so important.

“Cantona is as good a player as I’ve ever seen. I haven’t seen Firmino week in week out like that, but just when you see him here and what he gives them, it’s a perfect balance. Cantona gave us that.

“Back in the day, we had [Ryan] Giggs and [Andrei] Kanchelskis who had frightening pace and stretched sides so much like Liverpool’s two, and Cantona dropped into that hole and people couldn’t get anywhere near them. That’s what you see with Firmino.

“Firmino is the one that drops in, but the pace of the other two is frightening, he drops in and the other two are running over your shoulder. Look they are a very, very good team, as good as you get. At this moment in time is there anyone better?

“The one down the road [Manchester City] I suppose is there at the minute, but they are certainly as good as you get.

“The way they play with the intensity, the full backs are only young and the delivery and presence they bring to the box, you can see why they are Champions of Europe.”

Liverpool begin the defence of that trophy in Napoli tomorrow with Andrew Robertson keen to put his Scotland troubles behind him by shining for the Reds.

The left back came under fire as his national team suffered Euro 2020 qualifying defeats to Russia and Belgium and he added: “Darren Fletcher dealt with it for 10, 12 years when he was at the top at Manchester United and now I’m facing it.

“That’s something I have to deal with up in Scotland and I need to deal better with. In terms of not letting it affect me and try and concentrate on my game and things like that.

“I lock myself away, I don’t like to talk to anyone. That’s up to me to deal with and I dealt with it in the way that I felt was right and I’ll continue to do that.”

“It’s a team game, it’s not just one person, and unfortunately we didn’t perform as a team last week.”

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