Former England defender Matthew Upson believes that Tammy Abraham will struggle to earn a starting place for England ahead of Harry Kane.
Abraham scored his first senior international goal in the 7-0 trouncing of Montenegro on Thursday evening, but was arguably upstaged as Kane scored a first-half hat-trick to put England firmly in control.
Kane became the first England player to score back-to-back hat-tricks at Wembley Stadium in the process, and Upson believes that the Tottenham striker’s form makes him extremely difficult to drop, despite the exciting emergence of the Chelsea frontman.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Upson debated with fellow ex-international defenders Alan Hutton and James Collins over whether Abraham could take Kane’s place ahead of the European Championships next summer.
He said: “If you’re that in-form at that level, at a club with the stature of Chelsea at the moment, you’re going to be putting pressure on Harry Kane.
“It just is the one main position in the team that is almost a bit of a nail-on. You just feel that Harry Kane has offered something for so long, and he’s still offering like he showed [on Thursday], he’s capable of scoring a hat-trick in those matches, albeit against a poor defensive team.”
Collins then argued that Kane’s role as captain would also work in his favour, with Upson agreeing it only adds to Abraham’s task of replacing the 26-year-old in the starting XI.
“That’s another big reason why he’s going to be a tough player for Tammy Abraham to dislodge, regardless of how good his form is at Chelsea,” said Upson.
22-year-old Abraham has scored 10 league goals this season and only trails Jamie Vardy in the Premier League scoring charts, as Kane trails him with just six strikes for Spurs so far.
Chelsea are also at the opposite end of the table to Spurs, but it does seem hard to argue with the views of the 5 Live panel.
What Abraham would have to do with Kane in such good form for the Three Lions seems insurmountable at present given the Tottenham forward’s latest exploits, despite getting off the mark himself to take his own season to new heights.
His best chance of starting for England at Euro 2020 could be alongside Kane in a formation change – and given Gareth Southgate’s change of system prior to the World Cup, perhaps Abraham should not totally give up hope.
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