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Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has been told by England boss Gareth Southgate that he needs to be ready to challenge Harry Kane for a starting spot in the England squad after being called up to the national team.
Southgate gave Abraham his second call-up to the national team after an impressive start to the season for the youngster.
Abraham has scored eight goals for Chelsea this season, including the goal against Lille in the Champions League on Wednesday.
“Yes, there’s always a risk of bringing people up too soon, but only if there isn’t the support and the right programme from us,” Southgate said.
“But I think getting support and the way that’s dealt with, and the fact that we’ve had conversations with him around the case: ‘have a taste to see what it might be like; we think it’s a bit early for you, but you’re still in our thoughts, keep working hard.’
“He’s a super kid, so he’s got a lovely manner about him; he wants to be better.
“Although he’s clearly so tall, he’s still physically developing his strength and holding play up, holding defenders off.
“They are still elements of that part of his game that can be bettered.
“His build-up, his ability to arrive in the right areas and finish have always been there, but I think just that confidence… He’s got seasons under his belt now, he’s scored regularly, he’s now doing it at the highest level.
“He comes in, rather than being a young player looking at all the other players thinking where do I fit in, he’s top of those scoring charts.
“He should walk through the door at St. George’s and be ready to seriously challenge.”