Six goals in his last three matches tell one striking story: Tammy Abraham’s star is shining brighter than it has ever shown.
The youngster banged in 26 goals for Aston Villa last term and was one of the biggest names in the Championship as the Villans mounted a successful promotion challenge. Even then, Tammy was not so thrust into the public consciousness as he presently is.
But after an indifferent start to his Chelsea senior team career and a short spell battling racism from his own fans, the 21-year-old has shaken off the chains to fully blossom into the Premier League top goalscorer under the guidance of Frank Lampard.
The Blues manager repose trust the size of Mount Kilimanjaro in the club’s Academy product and Abraham can only glow brighter in the coming weeks and months.
However, a new test is brewing. The former England youth international is eligible to play for Nigeria and the country’s football administrators have been making overtures to convince Tammy to switch allegiance to the West African nation.
The former Swansea loanee, though, apparently has his sights set on playing for the Three Lions, a decision that may have obvious consequences.
So many other Nigeria born stars have walked that same road of thirsting after and featuring for the Queen’s country and so many have regretted that decision.
So many stories that Tammy Abraham can learn from before making his final call on which country to play for.
Cole was at the peak of his powers in the early 2000s for Aston Villa, tearing defences with his pure power and scoring goals for fun.
But while Nigeria saw him as the next Nwankwo Kanu, he saw himself as the better version of Emily Heskey. Thing is, England saw him as just another rising youngster.
The NFA extended an invitation to Carlton Okorie Cole – whose father hailed from Rivers state – for Nigeria’s World Cup and African Nations Cup qualifiers in September 2008 with a view to having him ready for the 2010 World Cup.
In the hope of going to the World Cup with England, Cole failed to honour the Nigeria call. Both countries qualified for the 2010 World Cup but Cole was sat at home watching the games on his TV screen.
England would finally call him but after featuring in a grand total of seven matches, mostly friendly games, his spell with the Three Lions came to an abrupt end.
When Taribo West retired from the national team, a big hole was left in the Super Eagles defence that only Yobo Joseph could not fill. Then there surfaced this power playing, all-action defender appearing week in week out for Middlesbrough.
Nigeria needed Ugo Ehiogu badly but it was England that convinced him to put on the white and red jersey for Queen and country.
He went on to enjoy a fulfilled club career playing for the likes of Sheffield United, Aston Villa and Scottish Premier League side Rangers.
But on the international scene, Ugo was capped by England at the senior level four times, scoring one goal.
On the 20th of September 2006, a certain 19-year-old Agbonlahor was called up for the Nigeria U-20 team for the match against Rwanda.
He turned down the call. The lad born to a man from Edo state went on to be a Premier League hit for Aston Villa, scoring goals and making assists. All the while he left the door open to playing for his fatherland.
It seemed the decision was an easy one as it was all too clear a future with Nigeria was brighter for him. However, in a swift switch of allegiance, Agbonlahor turned and pledged his future to England. Soon he earned a call-up and debuted for the Three Lions against Germany in November 2008.
Strangely, the forward was left out of the England squad to the 2010 World Cup. By the time he hanged his football boots, Gabriel Imuetinyan Agbolanhor only had four caps for the English national team.
Nedum Onuoha was born in Warrior, Delta state before his parents moved to England. Before long his talents became obvious and the youngster was quickly drafted into the youth setup of his host country.
The next natural step up for Nedum seemingly was the England senior team but while he waited for the inevitable, an invitation to play for the Super Eagles arrived in March 2007.
But the then Queens Park Rangers defender shunned the call-up, choosing to wait for a chance to play for England.
He is still waiting for that call, which may still arrive tomorrow.
Fashanu was born to a Nigerian father and a Guyanese mother but chose to play for England.
As a proven centre forward, Fash had earned his call-up by banging in goals with incredible regularity for Wimbledon where he won the FA Cup in 1998.
The striker allegedly honoured an invitation to play for the Super Eagles but was miffed that the then manager refused to feature him.
He returned to England and jumped at another call up from the Three Lions gaining two caps – against Chile and Scotland in the 1989 Rous Cup.
After retirement, Fashanu expressed regret in not exercising patience and playing for Nigeria.
“The fact is that I really wanted to play for Nigeria and I came home on three occasions but the coach said I was not good enough to make his team, and so never selected me except for one friendly match against China where I was an unused substitute,” Fashanu told Goal.
“So, it was never my fault at all and it pained me so much that I never played for my country,” he lamented.