Where does Tammy Abraham fit into Chelsea’s plans this season?
You could have forgiven Tammy Abraham if he felt his position in the team was in jeopardy this summer, as signing after signing arrived at Stamford Bridge. The arrival of players like Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz all represent a threat to the Englishman, who enjoyed a full season as Chelsea’s main striker last campaign, scoring 15 Premier League goals as Chelsea finished fourth in the league table.
Abraham has been slowly maturing into a quality striker, and you can imagine his concern as those big-money signings came barrelling through the door. That said, the 22-year-old has still played a part in the early stages of Chelsea’s season, but when the likes of Havertz, Werner and Ziyech get settled into the side, and Christian Pulisic returns fully from injury, Abraham may find himself struggling to get in the starting eleven.
But perhaps Abraham has more of a chance than it may seem. None of Chelsea’s new forwards are of a similar build or boast the same skillset as the England striker. Abraham has more of a rangy physique, and is able to offer a more physical presence for Chelsea when they’re in need of a target man or someone to hold the ball up to bring the wide-men into play. That aspect of his game has proved effective for Chelsea and head coach Frank Lampard at times, and was crucial in the team’s comeback from 3-0 down against West Bromwich Albion earlier in the campaign.
There were rumours throughout the transfer window that a move to take Abraham back to Aston Villa, where he spent a season on loan in the 2018-19 campaign, was in the offing, but it seems as though he is eager to stay at Chelsea and fight for his place. He clearly has a good relationship with Lampard, and the Chelsea boss has proved himself adept at bringing through young talent into the first team.
One of the most interesting aspects of this season for Chelsea is seeing how the expensive, big-name new signings will bed into a team that has been defined by youth and relative inexperience since Lampard took charge. It’s a challenge facing the Chelsea boss, to bring all his players together and pull in the same direction to bring the club closer to the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool in the English Premier League odds. We’ve seen countless occasions in the past where new signings have struggled to adapt at new clubs, and this has led to underperformance, so Lampard will be hoping to avoid any such difficulties.
For Abraham, the task is quite simple: to make the most of the opportunities he’s afforded. Lampard has proven that he trusts in his young players, and values their ability to contribute, so Abraham can play in the knowledge that if he does hit top form then he can keep some of those big-money signings out of the team.
There’s a long season ahead, where games will come thick and fast, so rotation will be key for every club. Injuries are bound to strike at some stage as well, so you can be sure that Abraham will get his chance to shine this season. It’s up to him to prove that he has the ability to be Chelsea’s main man for many years to come.