In Focus: Abraham finding form again after World Cup heartbreak
After impressing in his debut season at Roma, Tammy Abraham has found life tougher in his second campaign.
The former Chelsea striker helped the Serie A club win the inaugural Europa Conference League last term after Jose Mourinho brought the Englishman to the Italian capital.
His second season has proved to be more difficult, with the 25-year-old only scoring five times in 19 outings.
Ahead of Roma’s trip to leaders Napoli on Sunday night, we take a look at how Abraham’s Italian job is going and what the future might hold for the centre forward.
Abraham’s first season in Italy after leaving Stamford Bridge was an undoubted success. He scored 27 goals in 53 games, which included 17 goals in Serie A.
His nine goals in the Europa Conference League were crucial, as Roma won their first trophy since 2008.
Yet it took time for the striker to settle. His first 16 matches in Serie A only saw him score four times, before he struck a further 13 in his next 21 games.
It was perhaps no surprise that the forward failed to make an immediate impact. Not only was he adapting to a new country, but he was also at his fifth club in six seasons.
A product of Chelsea’s academy system, Abraham scored a respectable 30 goals in 82 games for the Blues, but his time at Stamford Bridge was punctuated by a series of loans at Bristol City, Swansea and Aston Villa.
World Cup heartbreak
After overcoming some obstacles to ultimately shine in his opening season at Roma, fresh challenges were thrown his way.
Last summer, the club added Paulo Dybala and Andrea Belotti to their squad, increasing the competition for places at the Stadio Olimpico.
Abraham has largely managed to keep his spot in Mourinho’s starting line-up, despite a disappointing tally of five goals in Serie A and just one in the Europa League.
This lack of form saw Abraham dropped from Gareth Southgate’s England squad and miss out on being involved in the World Cup in Qatar.
If the 11-cap international wants to force his way back into Three Lions reckoning and remain a first-choice for his club, then his goal output will need to increase. The good news is that there are definitely signs of improvement.
The World Cup gave Abraham an opportunity to take stock and it seems that he used the time productively.
Speaking about the pause in the season, he said: "The international break helped. I spent time with my family and recovered my energy. It was nice, but even when I was away, I worked a lot. I was always thinking about football.
"I told myself that when I returned, I would have to help the team as much as possible. I wanted to come back to give my best and that’s what I’m doing."
Abraham’s last three Serie A games have seen him score vital goals against AC Milan and Spezia, along with providing two assists for Dybala in the recent victory against Fiorentina.
Unbeaten in five games since the season resumed, Mourinho's men are battling for Champions League qualification and are still competing in both the Coppa Italia and Europa League.
Premier League return
No matter how Abraham fares in Italy, it seems inevitable that he will return to England before too long.
When things are going well, the marksman will be monitored by the Premier League’s biggest clubs. If he ultimately falls out of favour, there will be plenty of English teams that will see it as a chance to bring him home.
The likes of Arsenal and Manchester United have been linked with the South Londoner over the last year. Should his current form continue, those rumours are likely to intensify.
Abraham scored a stunning solo goal last weekend at Spezia, with Dybala providing the assist, as their relationship continues to grow.
There is a lot of work to do for the No9's second season in the Eternal City to prove to be as successful as his first, but there are signs that he can finish strongly again.