With the Blues looking to spend big on a striker this summer, the future of Tammy Abraham has come under question this week
Chelsea’s interest in Borussia Dortmund star Earling Haaland has put Tammy Abraham’s future at Stamford Bridge in doubt. But former Blues winger Pat Nevin insists the academy graduate is more than good enough to lead Thomas Tuchel’s attack.
Abraham has struggled for minutes since the appointment of Tuchel at the end of January and has only scored one goal under the German coach, although an ankle injury sustained against Newcastle United has played its part in that.
The 23-year-old’s long-term future at Chelsea appears uncertain. A clause in his contract triggered last season, according to The Athletic, saw Abraham’s deal extended until 2024.
However, with the club intent on trying to lure Borussia Dortmund star Haaland to Stamford Bridge this summer, there is very much a question mark against Abraham’s name. Doubts as to whether he has the complete faith of those at Chelsea.
“There are players at 23 years old who are absolutely the finished product,” Nevin, who made more than 200 appearances for Chelsea, tells football.london.
“They have the physique, they have that power. I honestly don’t think Tammy has completely filled out yet. I think there is more to come and there will be a point when suddenly it happens.
“His natural ability is fine, his natural goalscoring ability is fine. It’s all good enough for the top level. But if you’re going to be a lone striker in the Premier League, you need that little something special.
“Olivier Giroud is world-class at holding the ball up and laying it off and he’s the best in the world when it comes to attacking near the post. And Timo Werner is one of the quickest players you’ll ever see.
“So Tammy has to bring something that is physically world-class to the team because his technical quality is good enough.
“Look at someone like Didier Drogba, did he explode at 18 years old, 19 years old? No, he didn’t and that just shows that players mature at different speeds. Tammy will come back one summer and people will go, ‘Who is that guy?’ and that will make the difference. So I have no worries about Tammy being good enough for Chelsea.”
Abraham has been at Chelsea since the age of seven and as he rose through the ranks of the club’s academy, big-money strikers came and went. The demands and expectations were made clear.
A prolific scorer at youth level, he made the step up to senior football effortlessly. He struck 26 goals for Bristol City and managed the same total for Aston Villa two seasons later.
Abraham was given his chance at Chelsea by Frank Lampard last term and he delivered 18 goals in all competitions. A further 12 have been struck this season, making the England international the Blues’ top scorer once more.
“From what I saw from him at 16 years old, Tammy was always the one from the academy that I thought would make it,” Nevin explains. “And that is because he had the technical quality to his game.
“I think a good example for what can happen with Tammy is (Everton striker) Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Things have finally fallen into place for him over the past year. But before then, he was getting roughed up all over the place. But then then it was like a switch was flicked.