As Tammy Abraham wheeled away and celebrated his winning goal at the Emirates on the final matchday of 2019, he had the world at his feet.
His strike had just secured Chelsea a 2-1 win against Arsenal, and it was his 14th of the season. He had already bagged for England too, coming on after 57 minutes of the game against Montenegro and scoring 27 minutes later. He had seemingly made it, and not before time.
The Camberwell-born striker certainly put in the hard yards as a young player. He graduated from the Chelsea academy and represented England at U18 and U19 level. His path to senior football was not easy, a successful loan spell at Bristol City (23 goals, 41 outings) looked promising, but just five in 31 for Premier League Swansea set him back.
That led to him being farmed back out to the Championship having seemingly peaked, but 25 goals for promoted Aston Villa saw his stock rise once more. With Chelsea under a transfer ban, he returned to Stamford Bridge to find himself a first-team regular, alongside Mason Mount who had also starred in the Championship that season.
He announced his second coming on the Premier League stage with seven goals in three matches, including a hat trick against Wolves in September. The goals kept flowing, right up until January 11, when he netted the second of three against Burnley. It looked like Chelsea had found a new hero, and England a serious contender for a Euro 2020 squad place. With Harry Kane injured in the build-up to the tournament, Tammy Abraham was poised to be England’s number nine at a major tournament. He had arrived.
Sadly, the pandemic put pay to his hopes of replacing Kane in the England setup, and a nagging ankle injury saw him score just three after project restart. Still, the 22-year-old picked up Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year at the London Football Awards and was all set to repeat his form for another year.
Storm clouds were brewing though. The Bleacher Report suggests the striker turned down a new Chelsea deal, but that did not stop Frank Lampard from picking him. The goals began to dry up too, just six in 24 outings early in the season. He netted a hat trick against Luton on January 24 this year, but that proved to be Lampard’s final game in charge. When his biggest advocate left, so did his Euro 2020 chances.
Thomas Tuchel has revolutionised the Blues, taking them to the Champions League final, but he has done so without Abraham. The 23-year-old has one goal since the former PSG manager took over, that in the FA Cup against Barnsley, and he has started just three matches. In those matches, he has twice been taken off at half time, and once came off after just 20 minutes injured.
Gareth Southgate is now preparing his squad for the summer, preparing an England side that had the best performing attack during qualifying, reports Bwin Sports. Harry Kane was at the heart of that with 12 goals but had the tournament not been postponed then perhaps Tammy Abraham would have taken his place. He looks unlikely to even make the squad, he has now not appeared for his country since December and was omitted from the last squad in favour of Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins.
In a cruel twist of fate, he could be partnering Watkins next season. Dean Smith is keen to take the striker back to Villa Park with the heroics of two years ago still fresh in his memory. Having risen to the Chelsea first team on the back of that, Tammy Abraham has declined swiftly, and it is believed Chelsea could be willing to listen to offers around £40m.
With his Euro 2020 dream over, if Tammy Abraham has ideas about Qatar 2022, then perhaps severing all ties with the club that raised him, and dropped him just as quickly, is the only option.
The Rise and Fall of Tammy Abraham
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