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In Focus: Why Abraham’s Italian job could give Chelsea the Blues
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Matthew Storey
Tammy Abraham celebrates after scoring his first goal for Roma
Tammy Abraham celebrates after scoring his first goal for Roma

As Romelu Lukaku returned to Chelsea this summer, academy product Tammy Abraham was shepherded out the exit door.

Roma splashed £34million on the England international with Thomas Tuchel happy to let him leave.

But Abraham, 23, is a natural goalscorer and has already made an impression in the Eternal City.

So will Chelsea regret letting their homegrown ace go?

Stunning start at Roma

Abraham has wasted no time getting started for Roma.

He set up two goals in his first game, a 3-1 victory over Fiorentina, and left the pitch to a standing ovation from the Stadio Olimpico faithful.

Abraham then notched his first strike in the 4-0 thrashing of Serie A new boys Salernitana ahead of the international break.

It was the perfect beginning to life in Italy under Jose Mourinho — and Abraham wants more than just goals.

Shortly after his move, he said: "I spoke to Jose and obviously [general manager] Thiago [Pinto] before coming here and they told me the ambition of the club.

"They told me what they want from the club and how they see the club moving forward. 

"I am someone who is very ambitious myself so when I see vision and I believe in the vision I give my all.

"I am here to win — I didn't come here just to play, to score."

Natural goalscorer

Tammy Abraham taps in his last Chelsea goal against Barnsley in the FA Cup
Tammy Abraham taps in his last Chelsea goal against Barnsley in the FA Cup

It will not come as a surprise to Blues boss Tuchel or anyone involved at Stamford Bridge that Abraham has found the back of the net already.

Throughout his youth and senior career, the striker has been a reliable source of goals.

He notched 30 in 82 appearances for Chelsea, as well as 26 in season-long loans at Bristol City and Aston Villa respectively in the Championship.

Even when opportunities dried up last season, he averaged a goal every 180 minutes. 

Tuchel unimpressed

Speaking in February, Tuchel said: "I like that he made his way on the loans and overcame obstacles in his career.

"He has the spirit to make it at Chelsea. This is one of the toughest challenges you can face but he is ready for that."

Despite talking up Abraham, it quickly became apparent the German was not enamoured with the striker.

An ankle injury did not help the Englishman's cause. But even when he returned, Tuchel was more likely to play misfiring Timo Werner, Olivier Giroud or midfielder Kai Havertz as a makeshift centre forward.

Reports also suggested the German tactician was not too impressed with Abraham’s efforts in pre-season training.

And as the links with Erling Haaland and Lukaku continued, it was clear the academy product would never be first choice under the current regime.

Everyone benefits

Tammy Abraham celebrates with his team-mates on his Roma debut
Tammy Abraham celebrates with his team-mates on his Roma debut

When Lukaku’s £97.5m move was confirmed, Abraham’s departure felt inevitable.

The Belgian is clearly an upgrade. And despite Giroud’s departure, other options remain available to Tuchel.

The Blues quickly accepted Roma's offer amid suggestions Abraham wanted to remain in England — potentially at Arsenal — and the Italians eventually got their man.

The inclusion of a buy-back clause suggests those in the board room at Stamford Bridge have not given up on Abraham just yet.

Former Chelsea star Joe Cole said: "For Jose, for Roma, for Tammy, for Chelsea, for England, it’s one of those moves where you’re like, ‘Yeah, I can see that it makes sense’ and I think he’ll do fantastically well."

International ambitions

Breaking into the England squad as a striker is not easy to do right now but Abraham will have taken note of Patrick Bamford’s call-up.

It is nearly 12 months since Gareth Southgate last included the Roma hitman in his party, citing his lack of minutes as the reason for omitting him back in March.

Abraham now finds himself behind the likes of Ollie Watkins, Bamford and Mason Greenwood in the pecking order, as well as more established international stars.

But he will be desperate to represent the Three Lions again and knows he has to be playing to do that.

If he continues his fine form at Roma this month, Southgate may struggle to leave him out come the October break.

And as he develops in Serie A, the Blues will watch on knowing they have first refusal to bring him back if they wish.

All in all, it is a win-win for everybody involved.


Serie ARomaChelseaPremier LeagueTammy Abraham
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