Tammy Abraham’s breakout season with Bristol City in the Championship means that his next step is all the more important. It is unclear whether staying with Chelsea is an option in the wake of the unfolding Diego Costa exit saga and rumours of Michy Batshuayi heading out on loan, but we do know that newly-promoted Premier League sides Newcastle United and Brighton and Hove Albion both would like to sign him on loan for the upcoming season. If reports are to be believed, Abraham has been deliberating on his decision for a while now, with Newcastle offering playing time in the first-team and to pay all his wages (which are expected to be at least doubled after Abraham signs a new deal with Chelsea), while Brighton in recent times have also matched Newcastle’s offer. Brighton’s proximity to London could also play a role in Abraham’s decision.
In the more immediate future though, Abraham is set to compete in the European U21 Championships, along with fellow Chelsea players Lewis Baker and Nathaniel Chalobah and a former Blue as well in John Swift. Ahead of the tournament, Tammy spoke to the Daily Mail about his season, his future and the Euro itself.
“I'm not sure what I'm doing next season, if I'm coming back, going elsewhere on loan or staying at Chelsea. I haven't decided yet. You have to stay open and things may come at different times but I have to dream big and that's what I'm going to be doing.”
Abraham looked back fondly at his time at Bristol, and was grateful to them for showing faith in him, also reflecting on what he’s learnt in the past year.
“I've enjoyed living by myself in the past nine months. I was used to my mum's cooking before - although my cooking is still rubbish.”
“When I first came to Bristol, knowing it was Championship football, playing against experienced men, I knew it would be tough. You'd be hard pressed to find players as tall as me at academy level but that all changed when I came here. I had to adapt some parts of my game. I feel like I've learnt so much. You see how much winning and losing games matters.”
“The club has given me my first chance to express myself and show what I can do. For a team to have that belief in me is amazing. I wouldn't say it's been better than I'd been expected but scoring goals is always what I've loved doing. I had the right mindset as well.”
With Marcus Rashford called up to the senior squad instead, Abraham will be relied upon heavily to lead England’s attack. The 19-year-old is full of confidence heading into Friday’s opener against
“It's going to be tough but our aim is to win and do the best we can. I wouldn't say we're under pressure but we are going to do our best.”
“I have confidence going into it but it's never going to be easy. Hopefully I've done enough this season to get into the team. If I have, I'll work as hard as I can. It's still my ambition to be at the top level, and be playing for England - especially like a competition like the World Cup. You know there are other players out there, but to be picked for England it shows you are doing something right. It's a good feeling.”
“I've spoken to Gareth a couple of times, even before my 21s debut and he said to keep working hard and to do my best. He likes to be there for the players, he's been massive for us because he believes in the Under 21s as well.”
- Tammy Abraham; source: Daily Mail
All the best to Abraham, Chalobah, Baker and the rest of the talented England Under-21 squad!