In a little over a month, Tammy Abraham has gone from a name known mostly just to fans of Chelsea youth teams to making national headlines on Sky, BT, or the Guardian.
Tammy Abraham has scored a goal, doesn’t matter when you read this. #CFC— Rafael Hernández (@RafaelH117) September 21, 2016
We had known he was a goal machine ever since he scored 41 goals in 44 appearances across the U18, U19, and U21 teams in 2014-15. Of course that's no guarantee of future success — just have to look at fellow youngster Dominic Solanke (who also scored 41 that season) who now seems to be lost in the wilderness a bit, or at a certain Neil Shipperley, who set a modern Chelsea Academy record with 42 goals around 1992 only to never quite manage to cut it at Premier League level.
So far so good however for young Tammy. After collecting another 26 goals for the youth teams last season and making his senior Chelsea debut — two substitute appearances in fact towards the end of the season — he headed out on loan to Championship side Bristol City this summer. Rumor has it that Antonio Conte actually wanted to keep him around, while Bristol City COO Mark Ashton also talked at length about the amount of convincing they had to do to get Chelsea to agree to let him go. Bristol City manager Lee Johnson called him a £20m+ striker, the confidence perhaps allowing City to give in to 20-goal man Jonathan Kodjia's demands and allow him to leave for Aston Villa.
To say that Abraham's repaid the faith and the confidence shown in him would be an understatement.
That's nine goals in eleven matches in all competitions, the latest of which was Wednesday's 90th minute winner at Chelsea's local rivals Fulham in the League Cup. (Bonus Chelsea Loan Army action from Lucas Piazon, who scored a goal on his Fulham debut.)
After the win, Johnson heaped a bit more praise on the teenager.
"Tammy Abraham comes on again, he's the trump card for the last 20 minutes and I'm delighted for him to carry the weight of us yet again. The world is his oyster, the test will be does he keep his feet on the ground? I think he will, he's got his family behind him."
-Lee Johnson; source: BT Sport
At the ripe old age of 18, Abraham's the Championship's leading goalscorer with 8 goals in 9 games, including two over the weekend against Sheffield Wednesday. He has a chance to do something accomplished only once before this decade.
Only one teenager this decade has scored 10+ Championship goals in a season (Moussa Dembele, Fulham, 15-16). Tammy Abraham has 6 already.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) September 14, 2016
9 - No player has scored as many goals for an English top four tier side this season than Tammy Abraham (level with Sergio Aguero). Lethal.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 21, 2016
Profiled in the Guardian last week, Abraham talked about being "brought up in the Chelsea way" revealed the ambition to build on his success so far and make that rarest of leaps from the Chelsea Academy into the first-team.
"Yes, that's the confidence I have in myself and I know what I am capable of. No matter where I am I know I have to keep trying my best."
-Tammy Abraham; source: Guardian
So say we all.