As soon as Frank Lampard set foot inside Stamford Bridge last summer, there was an expectancy that young striker Tammy Abraham would start...
As soon as Frank Lampard set foot inside Stamford Bridge last summer, there was an expectancy that young striker Tammy Abraham would start in attack. He’d just bagged 26 goals for Aston Villa in the Championship and looked more than ready for the step up.
Before lockdown, he had fired home 13 goals – an incredible return for someone with so little top-flight experience, but a dip in form soon saw Tammy Abraham replaced by veteran Frenchman Olivier Giroud, who came up with the goods time and time again.
If Abraham was worried about winning his spot back, his concerns will have only grown with Timo Werner’s expensive move to the Bridge. Can he compete with a £50m player who was one of Europe’s top marksmen last season?
Aston Villa were keen to take advantage of the situation by bringing Abraham back on loan for the coming season, but the 22-year-old swiftly knocked them back because he wants to stay and fight for his place at Chelsea – and he was absolutely right to do so.
Abraham proved last season that he’s good enough to hang in the Premier League. He ended his first season as a starter with 15 goals, and unless you’re pulling a Michu, that’s usually a good sign of a player’s quality.
What Abraham lacked was experience and wisdom. As is the case with many players his age, he struggled to bring his form all season and found it hard to keep firing when the goals began to dry up. He needs to learn those skills, and Chelsea is the best place for that.
Tammy Abraham is the youngest Chelsea player to score 15+ goals in a single season
Not only will Frank Lampard be able to offer some more of his knowledge, but Abraham will be able to get up close and personal with Giroud and Werner, who can both offer the Englishman some vital advice.
Giroud knows all about adversity, having fought his way back in from the cold last season and blocked out near-constant criticism for his role in the French national team. He still scores goals at an impressive rate, and Abraham will be able to watch and figure out how.
Then you’ve got Werner, who is two years Abraham’s senior but has far more top-flight experience to his name. The German’s cold-blooded approach to goalscoring is the kind of thing every striker dreams of mastering, and being next to Werner will give Abraham the chance to add to his repertoire.
Perhaps most importantly, Abraham will still play games. Lampard’s not going to forget all about the youth just because Roman Abramovich’s wallet is open again. He knows what Abraham can bring to a game and will give him plenty of opportunities to showcase it.
Sure, he’ll almost certainly play fewer minutes than he would at Villa, but it’s the quality of those minutes which counts. With all due respect to Villa, that’s not the level Abraham should be aspiring for anymore.
Instead of starting in a relegation battle as a team’s senior forward, Abraham will get experience in a top-four race and in the Champions League. When he’s not playing, he’ll be working closely with Giroud and Werner to address the issues which have prevented him from starting.
Gaining all that know-how will make him a better player, and that’s all Abraham can think about at this stage of his career.
He can still become Chelsea’s undisputed starter – the heir to Didier Drogba’s throne – and this year will only aid his cause. He will be able to combine his natural goalscoring instinct with the prolific mentality of Giroud and Werner, and that sounds like the recipe for the perfect striker.