Can England’s Tammy Abraham pip the rest?
It’s almost certain that Gareth Southgate will take a backup striker to Qatar to cover for Harry Kane. Not only to provide a substantial number two in case of any injuries, but also to offer additional goalscoring threat from the bench when England are slacking in front of goal. Furthermore, FIFA shocked the footballing world by acting semi-competently yesterday and announcing that the nations competing in the World Cup will be able to name a 26-man squad to fend off injuries and fatigue. That’s three more spaces on the plane for Southgate to ponder than originally expected.
Tammy Abraham’s hour-long appearance in the Nations League was his first since last October. However, despite not getting on the scoresheet or registering a shot on target, Southgate will be content with the Roma striker’s display during his return to the fold. Abraham’s constant pressing from the front and link-up play with those behind him is precisely what the head coach would have wanted.
The 17 goals in Tammy’s Serie A season broke records in Italy. The former Chelsea man stands as the highest-scoring debutant in Roma’s history, whilst he also became the highest-scoring Englishman in an Italian top-flight season. So, Southgate knows he can find the net at the highest level, and I’d expect the Italian love affair to continue through to November.
Best of the Rest in England Colours
Southgate’s other realistic options come in the form of Callum Wilson, Ollie Watkins, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Although the first two are out-and-out goalscorers and very good at it, they aren’t quite Southgate’s cup of tea in terms of what they can offer to the group. Both now find themselves down the pecking order with just two England matches to play before the head coach’s decision, needing a miraculous start to the season to gazump Tammy Abraham.
For me, Everton striker, DCL, is the next best contender for that backup Striker spot. When he’s on form and injury-free, he has shown his hold-up play, aerial presence, and lethality in the box make him a desirable prospect, one that Southgate has taken a liking to in the past. DCL will feel aggrieved that an injury halted his impressive progress with Everton and derailed his developing England career. If DCL begins the season in a similar vein of form as what we saw pre-injury, there’s a real chance this 3unit selection falls by the wayside.
At Goodison Park, it appears as if Richarlison is nearing the exit door, which will affect DCL. A case can be made that the Englishman will flourish as the leading man in Everton blue. However, the flip side represents a lack of artistry and invention that Richarlison has in abundance. Of course, we don’t know who will be replacing a samba-sized void in Everton’s front line, but it’s something to be wary of when considering Tammy’s England hopes.
Skybet‘s ‘to make the England squad’ markets now price Tammy at 1.80 to head to Qatar after the recent internationals. bet365’s price hasn’t shifted and is currently one with some value.
Proposed selection: England’s Tammy Abraham to make the World Cup squad @ 2.25 on bet365.