Tammy Abraham: The Key to Unlocking This Chelsea Squad

Did you really think that a player with 82 senior goals in the past four seasons was going to drop off the face of the Earth just because a new striker was brought in? Did you actually believe that Tammy Abraham was going to be an outcast this season after being Chelsea’s top scorer last year? If you have watched or listened to Frank Lampard and his team over the past season and a bit then it would be pretty clear that Abraham was never going to be left out of this team. It’s just as much his side as anyone else’s right now.

Tammy Abraham is going nowhere at Chelsea and is here to play a part for the long-term.
Tammy Abraham: Here to stay. Image Credit: BT Sport

The Englishman surpassed all expectations last season as he finished as Chelsea’s top scorer in all competitions with 18 goals in 36 starts with no penalties. For a comparison, Marcus Rashford scored 15 non-penalty goals in 38 games last season. So, really, was Chelsea’s new number nine going to be tossed aside this season when he helped Lampard achieve the status that lead to Chelsea being able to sign Timo Werner?

Mentality Over Everything

Tammy Abraham has proved in his limited minutes so far this season that everything positive we have heard about him is true. The 23-year old has an extremely mature head on his shoulders, he has played over 100 senior games now and has the mentality to show he belongs on this stage, for this club. His club.

Even if he has been demoted to second-string striker behind Werner, there should never have been doubt surrounding his position in the squad. Although Olivier Giroud was, and still remains, an extremely valuable member of the club, his long-term value is much less than Abraham’s. So, it is only logical that Abraham is ahead of Giroud in the pecking order.

Tammy Abraham: From Top-scorer to Bench Warmer? Never.

Now, it’s never easy to go from being top-scorer to knowing your minutes will be halved and you aren’t the talk of the town anymore, but these Chelsea youth players are a different breed. They don’t shy away from the challenges. They build themselves up for it and come back bigger, stronger and fitter.

You don’t go through Cobham without having this ingrained into you. It’s a tough path to get into Chelsea as a young boy, but that’s just the start. The pathway to the first team is an infinitely harder one to tread. So, after more than 10 years of fighting for places at youth level or starting spots out on loan, do you think Tammy Abraham would give in now? Just when his side are on the up, going to places that they haven’t been before? Surely not.

Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount possess elite mentalities instilled in them from their time as young Chelsea players.
Abraham and Mount embody the impeccable mentality instilled at Cobham. Image credit: Mark Leech, via Getty Images

Abraham has been waiting patiently, taking the chances when they come this season. In his first start of the season against Barnsley in the Carabao Cup, he took his chance to show he could do more than just score goals. His link up play with Kai Havertz was particularly impressive given it was the first time the pair had played together. One goal, one assist and time to wait patiently again.

That’s what he has done so well this season: waited, not moaned, not groaned. This is a large squad with extreme attacking quality. Everyone will get their chance, it’s taking it that counts.

Tammy and Timo: In with the Old…and In with the New

It may not be a 4-4-2 or an orthodox partnership, but with Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham playing together and next to each other, this is a true duo. It looked like a match made in heaven when Chelsea fans spotted the role that Patrick Schick played alongside Werner for RB Leipzig. The Czech striker was a perfect target man to play off and run in behind. Perhaps it isn’t surprising that Werner struggled on his own for the first few games.

Enter Abraham, but not as we have seen him before. Chelsea’s number nine hasn’t been playing the same role as last season. Perhaps it’s tactical, perhaps it’s an individual adjustment, or perhaps it’s even because the side don’t need him to score the majority of goals anymore. But whatever it is he is doing, it’s working.

Personal Improvement and Team Tactics

Abraham is taking up a much deeper position on the pitch as he comes towards the midfield to collect the ball to feet rather than having it pinged to his chest or head like last season. This is allowing Werner to run in behind Abraham and almost take his position upfront. As Abraham attracts the defenders to him in a deeper role there is space for the German to fill which gives opposition defenders a hard decision: mark the man, the space or the ball? It’s a trick question as whichever one they chose will leave Chelsea with a player overload. And this season the men in that overload – Havertz, Hakim Ziyech or Christian Pulisic – are clinical.

Abraham has started to give a lot more to the team this season than just goals and with the firepower that Lampard now possesses, this isn’t an issue. It’s a compliment to Abraham that he has adapted to give something that other Chelsea players can’t: a physical presence, an out ball, or simply being a playmaker.

Where Tammy Abraham Fits in Future

With Abraham on the pitch this season, Chelsea have now scored 11 goals in 4 games. Although he has only contributed directly to 3 of those goals it isn’t a coincidence that he is on the pitch while they go in. If Abraham’s improved form isn’t enough proof of his current form then look to his left and his partner Werner has netted 3 goals in his last 3 games whilst playing alongside the Englishmen. These are stats you simply can’t ignore.

From the outset Abraham may not look as important or as appealing as the new crop of players at Stamford Bridge, but in reality he is playing a very undercover and underrated part of Chelsea’s form picking up.

The beauty of the depth Chelsea have is that Abraham can form a very similar relationship with Christian Pulisic on the left-wing as well as Werner. Chelsea are no longer reliant on the same players to come up with the goods week in, week out. They have players that are capable of forming unique on-field relationships with each other, and it wouldn’t be surprising to now see a lot more of Tammy Abraham.

Written by Tom Coley (@tomcoley49)

Edited by Dan Hill (@idanknow05)

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