Tammy Abraham had returned to Stamford Bridge from a successful loan spell at Aston Villa where he had scored 26 times in 40 games in the Championship, helping the midlands side return to the Premier League in the process. Having broken into the England squad briefly in 2017, the 6’3’’ forward was called up for European Qualifying matches in 2019 scoring against Montenegro in a 7-0 win, as well as Nations League games where he made a substitute appearance against Iceland.
As Frank Lampard was named manager at Chelsea in the summer of 2019 with a transfer ban in place, he was given the opportunity to bring through some of the academy products who had been impressing on loan away from their parent club. Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori were well known to Lampard, having been on loan at Derby with him the season before. Both players moved seamlessly into the first team, Mount has gone from strength to strength and Tomori now looking likely to be sealing a permanent move to AC Milan.
Under Lampard he was a regular, even forcing France International Olivier Giroud to watch from the sidelines as the young Englishman lead the line for Lampard’s side. He managed 15 goals from 34 Premier League appearances in the 2019/20 season, a solid return, even despite Giroud beginning to take minutes from him towards the end of the season.
As plans were formed for the 2020/21, Abraham was to find new competition for his place. Timo Werner and Kai Havertz arrived from the Budesliga for £48 million and £72 million respectively. Abraham found himself an unused substitute on the opening day of the season, with the two new German signings in the starting 11. The second game, he appeared after 79 minutes form the bench in a 2-0 defeat at home to Liverpool after Andreas Christensen was dismissed after 45 minutes.
His opportunity to start arrived on the opening game of the Carabao Cup against Barnsley. Abraham led the line and opened the scoring after 19 minutes winning the ball on the edge of the box and calmly putting out of reach of the Barnsley keeper. Unfortunately his efforts were overshadowed by a Havertz hat trick. This was then followed by Giroud, who replaced Abraham in the second half, also going on to score.
Up until Lampard’s dismissal in January 2021, Abraham remained part of the first team squad, but was not able to hold down the centre forward role as he had the previous season. In late February 2021 he picked up an ankle injury and missed almost six weeks of the season. He returned at the end of April but only made two late substitute appearances under new boss Thomas Tuchel who has since made it clear that Abraham is available to leave Chelsea this summer and not part of his plans for the future.
Where Could Abraham Go?
Interest had been reported from David Moyes, West Ham United’s manager, though a £40 million price tag immediately put off the East London side. West Ham could be seen as an ideal move for Abraham, to provide support to current striker Michail Antonio who has struggled with injuries and often almost being forced to play with no real competition for his place in the side. Should Chelsea be willing to reduce this asking price, on paper this would seem the best fit for Abraham should he wish to remain in the Premier League.
An issue this price tag brings is the lack of options available or sides in the market for a high priced striker, especially after a difficult Covid hit season on clubs finances. His old side Aston Villa had shown interest in bringing him back for the 2019/20 season before he became first choice at Chelsea, but have since spent £30 million on Ollie Watkins and would not be likely to spend a similar fee on a second striker.
Other sides looking likely to be bringing in a striker this summer include Manchester City and Manchester United. Although being happy to spend high, Abraham would not be high on their list and would want to bring in a more experienced and proven goal scorer at the highest level.
Two options available to Tammy Abraham may be Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur. Leicester will be looking to improve their forward line, especially in preparing for the eventual loss of Jamie Vardy. Kelechi Iheanacho showed some excellent promise towards the end of the 2020/21 season and it is yet to be seen what plans Brendan Rodgers has for this area of the pitch.
Spurs are a club in transition and have been rocked by Harry Kane’s declaration that he wants to leave this summer. Should this departure happen, Spurs will need to bring in more than one striker it would seem, as a backup to Kane has been a historic issue. Reports suggest that the north London side are ready to bring in Antonio Cont as manager and no signings appear to be being arranged or enquired about until this happens.
If Abraham is to stay in the Premier League, one of two things appears to be inevitable; his price will be reduced or Chelsea will have to look at a loan option. In both instances, West Ham would take him into careful consideration as he has the ability and the style to suit the way David Moyes sets up the Hammers. A deal could take time, while both Tammy Abraham and Chelsea come to an agreement over any terms but for his own development, it is important he can get his promising career back on track for the 2021/22 season.
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