Frank Lampard backed Tammy Abraham to score goals for England after the Chelsea striker was called up for the Three Lions’ forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.
England boss Gareth Southgate named Abraham along with Blues team-mates Fikayo Tomori and Ross Barkley in his squad and Lampard said all three players “have big smiles on their faces” after impressing for Chelsea.
Abraham has scored seven goals in seven Premier League appearances for Chelsea this season and also found the net in his side’s 2-1 win at Lille in the Champions League.
Lampard, who scored 29 goals in 106 appearances for England, tipped the 22-year-old forward – who has two caps for the Three Lions – for success at international level, saying of his call-up: “I think it is well deserved.
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“[He has been] scoring goals regularly for us and everybody knows that his form is very good. I think he has been in the equation for Gareth all season with the way that he has played.
“It is a natural progression for him. So I’m delighted. He is a proud lad, as he should be, proud to get a call up.
“I don’t want to put too much on his shoulders, but step by step he has shown that he can score goals in the Championship twice, now in the Premier League.
“Naturally when he goes to the England squad he has the attributes to go there and be successful. It is another step for him but I am sure that he has the attitude to take that challenge of being a goalscorer for England.”
Abraham is expected to start as Chelsea’s Premier League campaign resumes at Southampton on Sunday, where Lampard’s men hope to secure back-to-back top-flight victories for the first time this season.
Lampard said the club would monitor the progress of N’Golo Kante ahead of the match as the midfielder continues his recovery from a hamstring injury.
Kante played all 90 minutes of Chelsea’s win at Lille in midweek but he has been restricted to just two Premier League starts during a disjointed season so far.
The Chelsea manager indicated Kante’s place against the Saints is not guaranteed, saying: “That’s something we will have to watch over the next 24 or 48 hours to make sure he is still on a semi-recovery, as they all are from the trip to Lille and the game.
“The fact he hasn’t played much obviously. In terms of the injury, he is fine. There is no fall out from that from the game.
“It is just making sure he is fit and ready and that’s a call for myself.”