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Thursday, April 28, 2022

Tammy Abraham's harsh Chelsea revelation vindicated after Thomas Tuchel's confusing decision

  This piece could be one shrouded in regret and disdain. One that maligns Chelsea's error is letting their most consistent goalscore...

 

This piece could be one shrouded in regret and disdain. One that maligns Chelsea's error is letting their most consistent goalscorer since Diego Costa leave, and the attacking frustrations that have unfolded since.

 But in reality, as someone who has tracked Tammy Abraham's career since his first loan with Bristol City in 2015, I'm just filled with joy seeing him do so well under Jose Mourinho at Roma.

Watching Abraham flourish this season has been my favourite story of the season. Abraham has 24 goals in 46 appearances this season and is back in England for Thursday night's Europa Conference League semi-final against Leicester. Abraham has become a beloved figure in the Stadio Olimpico, getting the chances he lacked last year to prove his talent.

In an extensive interview with Alan Shearer for The Athletic , Abraham opened up about his Chelsea exit and the confidence he's gained since.

"It was all about someone believing in me. The past manager – Frank Lampard – gave me that chance, he showed real faith in me and that’s when I was producing. It’s the same now," the 24- year-old told Shearer.

It was in that 2019/20 season that Abraham burst onto the scene during Lampard's first year in charge. The forward was one of several academy breakthroughs sparking new life into Chelsea's squad.

An early-season hat-trick away at Wolves showcased his goalscoring instincts, all three finishes of varying nature – but all demonstrating a fearless player full of confidence.

Even with some injury setbacks and dips in form, Abraham's tally of 18 goals for his first season playing for Chelsea was still encouraging even if the Blues would go on to spend £213million over the next two summers to buy Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Romelu Lukaku.

Even with six league games left for Chelsea this season, it appears unlikely any of that trio will match Abraham's 15 league goals in the 2019/20 season. Something that greatly demonstrates how under-valued his numbers were whilst at the club.

“Of course it’s difficult when you’ve grown up at a club and you’ve fallen out of favour. It’s never nice. But I’ve come here and it’s been like a dream come true. I’m no more that academy player — they’ve made me into a star," Abraham said.

"They looked at you differently. That’s what I needed. I needed that self-belief again, that confidence, to be able to think, ‘You know what, I can make noise here’.”


For all of his critics, Abraham has continued to do what he has since his days in the academy, score goals. Something that apparently is quite valuable to clubs in the sport.

 This season, Abraham has been the top scorer in the Europa Conference League, he has scored more goals in all competitions than any other English player in Europe's top five leagues and more goals for Roma in a debut season than any other player.

Jose Mourinho has continued his trait of conjuring the best out of strikers – as was seen at Chelsea across two spells with Didier Drogba and Costa.

Abraham did reflect on how much of a challenge it was during the second half of last season when he became an outcast under Thomas Tuchel. Left out of the squad for both the Champions League and FA Cup final.

But he seemed determined to follow in the footsteps of Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah, forging a path beyond Stamford Bridge to prove those who doubted him wrong. The exclusion under Tuchel remains confusing, one that has never quite got an explanation.

“It did mess with me mentally for a bit." Tammy said. "It got to a point towards the back end of the season where I was stropping, I was annoyed, because I’m working hard in training and I wasn’t getting the chances. I was doing the best I could, getting in early and finishing late, training drills, finishing drills, and still wasn’t getting a look in."


When you also consider that Chelsea's attacking struggles continued without the English striker who finished the 2020/21 season as joint-top scorer despite only playing 17 minutes of Premier League football after February last year.

Whether Chelsea will activate the £67m buyback clause in 2023 appears unlikely whilst Tuchel is at the helm, but the most enjoyable thing is seeing an infectious personality like Abraham perform so well and be appreciated.

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