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England boss insists Tammy Abraham in on merit despite confusion over future

GARETH SOUTHGATE insists he has not tried to force Tammy Abraham’s hand amid confusion over the Chelsea striker’s international future.

Abraham, 22, was selected by the Three Lions boss yesterday in his squad of 25 for the Euro 2020 qualifiers with Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

But Abraham (pictured) admitted after the Blues’ win at Lille on Wednesday that he was undecided on whether to declare for England or Nigeria.

Chelsea team-mate Fikayo Tomori — also eligible for Canada and Nigeria — is in Southgate’s squad but the England boss said: ‘I don’t think it’s ethically right just to give a player a cap to make sure they can’t play for somebody else. The two boys are in on merit. I’m not going to guarantee they’re going to get on the pitch.’

And Southgate thanked Chelsea’s Frank Lampard for giving both a chance, adding: ‘We’ve got good players who just need the chance to go and play.’

@metrosportHQ