Tammy Abraham is proving he is ready for the big time after taking his goal tally for the season to 13 with a double on his full England Under-21 debut, according to coach Aidy Boothroyd. The Chelsea teenager has thrived on loan at Bristol City this term, with 11 goals in 14 appearances, and he took that form into his maiden appearance for national team's second tier outfit.
The Three Lions had already secured qualification for the 2017 European Championships with victory over Kazakhstan, giving Boothroyd the license to hand three players their debuts at Under-21 level. Abraham made his first start and he wasted little time in making an impression, netting in the first half after John Swift had hammered the hosts ahead.
Tottenham Hotspur's Josh Onomah made it three after the break, before Sunderland's Duncan Watmore and Abraham's second put the gloss on an emphatic 5-0 victory at Walsall's Bescot Stadium. And it was the Chelsea man who stole the headlines as he continues to thrive in his first full season since signing a professional contract.
Bristol City boss Lee Johnson believes Abraham is ready to be deployed in Chelsea's first team after his stunning Championship form, and Boothroyd has also suggested the 19-year-old is ready for the step up. The interim Under-21 boss believes Abraham has already proved he deserves a grander stage on which to perform.
"I think he is well on the way to proving that," he said, according to The Evening Standard. "I've had him a couple of years now and he has ability, he is proving his worth in the Championship and he is a typical young English player who is talented and has been given an opportunity at a club. We've got a lot more English players like that, you only have to look at today to see that.
"He is a good finisher, has a really good, enthusiastic, optimistic outlook on life. He wants to play every minute and is not only a goalscorer but he can score in different positions, with his head and his feet. He is a team player and puts a shift in and he knows that because he's been with me for a couple of years now."
Abraham was drafted into the squad in part due to Marcus Rashford's return to the senior squad. But Boothroyd is unconvinced by any comparisons between the Chelsea and Manchester United strikers, who could yet lead the line for their country. "They are different. Marcus can play down the middle or on the left or the right, while Tammy is more of an out and out centre forward. He's somebody else that has been given a chance and he's shown what he's all about. Sometimes that is what it's all about."