Chelsea have had a rather strange sort of season. The Blues are through to the final of the Champions League and currently sit 4th on the table. However, it is their off-field issues that have garnered much of the recent headlines rather than their play.
After exiting from the doomed European Super League, and club management apologizing with a cryptic statement for their part in blinding the supporters base, Chelsea were set to play Leicester City in the final of the FA Cup.
— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) May 14, 2021
Having replaced Frank Lampard in January, German manager Thomas Tuchel has overseen a remarkable turnaround in form at the club, especially the defensive aspect. Their last weekend win at champions Manchester City only seemed to highlight this point. In the run-up to the final, the club would have been quietly confident of adding another piece of silverware to their collection. Then came the problem.
WHERE IS TAMMY?
Even before kickoff, team news rocked a large portion of the fanbase when it emerged that Tammy Abraham, the competition’s leading goal scorer with four goals, has been left out of the matchday squad entirely. That is not entirely surprising while at the same time, deserves a decent level of outrage.
This will annoy people, but you absolutely have to question Tuchel's decision not to even have Tammy Abraham on the bench. They were toothless today and Abraham is a goalscorer.
— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) May 15, 2021
The 23-year-old has played only 17 minutes of league football since the end of February, even going the entirety of March without making the matchday squads. Tuchel has been very reluctant to use the Englishman who is now way down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge. The signs were there from the beginning of this season though.
Chelsea’s lacklustre performance perhaps brought to the fore the issues of the under performing strike line. Something that Abraham could have helped improve given the opportunity.
Having signed Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech together, with Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount already on the rise, it was clear that Abraham would find game time hard to come by. The new signings were given priority with regards to starts and minutes, though with the Germans struggling initially, things seemed to be getting brighter.
Leaving Tammy Abraham out of the entire squad today was a huge huge mistake. Tammy will 100% leave this summer and deserved at least a spot on the bench after being our top scorer in this competition. TT, don’t have too many G&Ts in Porto and leave Giroud in his hotel room…
— George Benson (@MrGeorgeBenson) May 15, 2021
He featured sporadically under Lampard, with all of his six league goals coming before the turn of the year. Since the arrival of Tuchel, he has been extensively using Werner or Havertz in the central striker position, with the other option being Olivier Giroud coming off the bench.
The England striker is a fine goal scorer, with his quickness and ability to hit the ball accurately having made him a favourite at Villa Park during his loan spell in 2018/19, where he scored 26 goals. It seems now that Abraham might be heading back to Dean Smith’s side in the off-season where he will be certainly welcomed back raucously, while West Ham and Leicester have also been touted as possible destinations.
END IN SIGHT
No matter who signs the extremely talented and very young striker, his time at Chelsea is very much coming to an end. This latest snub was just another reminder of how an influx of foreign additions can alter the career graph of a youth product. Abraham is a former England U-21 star with nine goals and has even appeared for the senior team.
I hope @tammyabraham gets a chance to play again this season. You can’t argue with his goal stats. Here is a list of the leading goal scorers under the age of 23. What’s your thoughts? pic.twitter.com/KWuo9RhOpD
— Frank Khalid (@FrankKhalidUK) April 23, 2021
Abraham has scored 21 goals in the Premier League over the past two seasons but looks increasingly unlikely to add to his tally further in the remaining league fixtures. Though he looks increasingly set to miss out on the Euro squad, there will be no shortage of potential suitors in the summer who looks destined to remain in the top flight for the foreseeable future.