Tammy Abraham: England’s future number 9

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Tammy Abraham in action for Chelsea

Tammy Abraham in action for Chelsea

Nine goals from eleven games is a remarkable achievement for any footballer, let alone an eighteen year old in his first professional season. Since Wayne Rooney’s conversion to an attacking midfielder, England have lacked clinical edge on the big stage. Harry Kane looked overawed at the Euros, both Welbeck and Sturridge have reliability problems, Jamie Vardy is ageing and Andy Carroll is, quite frankly, a donkey. The fact of the matter is, England needs a consistent, fast, strong forward to partner Marcus Rashford at future tournaments. Step forward Tammy Abraham, a well-spoken Chelsea youth graduate, currently plying his trade on loan at Bristol City.

Abraham’s record speaks for itself; 9 from 11 at senior level in BS3, 74 from 98 in the youth side at Chelsea, and 5 from 15 for England’s U19 – emphasising his prowess in the box. As a regular attendee of Bristol City matches for over 10 years now, I cannot recall a single striker so composed in front of goal, let alone an eighteen year old with such little experience in competitive games. It is for this reason Abraham simply must be given a chance in the first team at Chelsea next season, to maximise the chances of fulfilling his huge potential.

As a young player at Chelsea, it would have been be quite easy for Abraham to happily stay with the reserves, play non-competitive football and earn a sizeable wage. But unlike fellow academy graduates, Ruben Loftus Cheek and Ola Aina, who questionably opted to stay at Stamford Bridge this season, Abraham knew he wouldn’t get a look in and that his game time would be limited.  For me this is a massive testament to Abraham’s intelligence; he is the type of bright, eager, modest footballer England needs to take a chance on. Additionally, Tammy is clearly a perfectionist; stating in an interview with BBC Bristol that his aim is 30 goals this season and that he is only pleased with personal performances if he scores.

Like Marcus Rashford, Abraham is raw, direct and skilful. However what really emphasises his uniqueness as a player is his combination of height and pace. Standing at 190 centimetres tall, he has a considerable stature advantage over his Manchester United counterpart. If these two were to partner for England, Abraham’s aerial ability, demonstrated with two recent headed goals versus Sheffield Wednesday, should prove highly useful in providing flick-ons for speedy Rashford to latch on to.

Crucially, despite being loaned out, Abraham is highly rated at Chelsea. Whilst José Mourinho was known for neglecting young players, new boss Antonio Conte almost didn’t allow Tammy to join Bristol City, after being so impressed with his training on the USA pre-season tour.

Abraham’s form at City will certainly not go unnoticed. Highlighting quite how much of a revelation he has been, whoscored.com have rated Tammy as ‘man of the match’ in two games, in addition to awarding him a highly commendable average rating of 7.231. Also, Abraham has the joint highest goal contribution percentage of any player in the division, with an astonishing 50% of Bristol City goals being from the young forward.

Abraham is on track to reach his 30 goal league target, something that would not go under the radar of Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. Subsequently he will be unlikely to be loaned out next season, but will fight it out with players such as Bertrand Traore and Michy Batshuayi to be the Blues’ second striker behind Diego Costa. Provided he chips in a couple of Premier League goals with Chelsea, an England call-up surely won’t be too far away. Maybe we’ll see the Rashford-Abraham strike force as early as 2018!

  1. Statistics correct as of 17/09/16.