Frank Lampard has backed Chelsea forward to score regularly for England, but warned he will have to maintain his current goal record for his club first.
The 22-year-old was named in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers in Czech Republic and Bulgaria alongside Blues team-mates Ross Barkley, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori on Thursday.
Abraham has eight goals in eight starts this season and his club manager is pleased to see him back in the Three Lions squad after previously making his debut in a friendly against Germany in November 2017.
“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,” Lampard said.
“It is a natural progression for him, so I’m delighted. He is a proud lad, as he should be, and 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.
“The work has only begun for him because he is a young player. I want to see him continue in the same vein for Chelsea and to keep scoring goals.
“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.
“There is competition there. When he steps into the squad he will see there are great strikers there already around him so it is a good challenge for Tammy.”
While Abraham’s selection was expected, especially with the forward eligible for Nigeria, the inclusion of defender Tomori was more of a surprise.
Lampard described the former Derby loanee as a “dream to work with” during the past 15 months they have spent together.
With Mount and Barkley also included, Chelsea have four players in the current England squad, but Lampard wants their attention on facing Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday.
“I was aware of the calls-up coming. I spoke to them before. They have big smiles on their faces today, the three of them,” Lampard added.
“Ross has been there a while. They are smiley and happy, but I might have to remind them that come Sunday they might have to perform for us.
“It is great news for them, but as I keep saying it is just the start. The minute any standards drop or complacency kicks in then they will all suffer.
“I am pleased they smile, they need to take this now, something to add to their armoury and say ‘OK I am an England player, I am in the England squad. I need to show even more, game in and game out for us.'”
Another Three Lions hopeful, Callum Hudson-Odoi, had to settle for a spot in Aidy Boothroyd’s under-21s squad, but Lampard believes that is the correct decision given his recent return from an Achilles injury.
“I spoke to Gareth. It is his call and I respect an international manager who has a conversation with you. All I can do is say what I see from a Chelsea end and it is Gareth’s choice when it comes to England,” Lampard said.
“Callum probably hasn’t played enough games (to be in the senior squad). The games will do him good. It is England Under-21s. He should be proud of that anyway, so I think it is a good shout for him.”