After taking the Championship by storm last season while on loan at Bristol City, setting all kinds of records for a teenager on route to scoring 23 times in England’s second tier, young Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham set out for his next challenge in the summer by joining Swansea City for the year.
Then managed by former Chelsea assistant coach Paul Clement, Abraham started the season well (even if his team didn’t), scoring four times in his first eight games and earning his first two international caps in the process as well. But as the team continued to struggle, Abraham’s form suffered as well. In fact, he remains on just four league goals for the season, having failed to find the back of the net in his last 12 Premier League appearances.
Clement was eventually sacked and replaced by Carlos Carvalhal, who has turned their fortunes around, bring them back out of the relegation zone. Now unbeaten in 8 straight in all competitions, their last result saw them score, fittingly, 8 times, as they sent lower league Notts County packing in an FA Cup replay.
Abraham, making just his third start under Carvalhal, opened the scoring of Tuesday’s goalfest, eventually finishing with two goals and two assists, his first contributions to the scoreboard since October. Two closed-ranged finishes and a wonderful through-ball (plus a chest-assist) showed that anything fellow loanee Michy Batshuayi can do, he can do just as well, if not better!
With seven goals in all competitions this season and once again injury free after a recent hip issue, Abraham is set to play a big part in the second-half of the season for Carvalhal as he looks to keep Swansea clear of relegation.
“Tammy Abraham is an interesting player. Wilfried [Bony]’s injury will give more opportunities to him and he is someone we believe in a lot.
“We liked him last season when he was scoring a lot of goals in the Championship. He has quality, a lot of pace and he is a good finisher. He is a very good talent and we will try to help him give the maximum to the team. He has only been training with us for something like a week and a half after injury.
“He must learn and he knows he must learn, especially in the transition to defence. He must be strong, but he can do that because I have seen him do that. When he does that, he will be a more complete player. We believe he will progress with us.”
-Carlos Carvalhal; source: Swansea City FC
Becoming a complete player isn’t just a question of technical proficiency or physical prowess. Large part of the challenge ahead is mental, and Carvalhal has urged Tammy to follow none other than Cristiano Ronaldo’s example in that respect. After all, few players in world football have shown as much as dedication and desire to improve themselves from as the five-time Ballon d’Or-winning goalscoring machine.
“When a boy has the talent to be a top player there is one path to take, and if they have principles and dedication they achieve a top level.
”I know in a lot of cases there have been players with a lot of talent at 19, 20 or 21 years old who have promised a lot, but lose the path and never become big players. Some of them had more talent than the big players of the world. Look at Cristiano Ronaldo. You can see him now at 32, but at 21 or 22 you never saw him involved in a fight at a discotheque, or with problems. This is very difficult as you win a lot of money at 20, 21, 22 years old. You are rich, but he continues to be the same guy, with the same work and attitude and it is down to the principles of the family and club. Other guys in the same situation lose that path. They want to enjoy the life, the nightlife and they lose their way.
”All these things come down to who you are and what you have in your head.
“You must do good things over a long time, not just one game or five games. It is not hard to do that, it is difficult to do it all the time and this is the challenge for Abraham.”
-Carlos Carvalhal; Source: Sky Sports
The ability to contribute consistently and to recover from bad patches is something that Chelsea are specifically looking for in the 20-year-old’s game, as revealed last year by Chelsea loanee liaison Eddie Newton.
But it’s not just Swansea and Chelsea who are bound to be delighted with Abraham’s goals. England manager Gareth Southgate, who also worked with Abraham at the U21 level is keeping a close eye as well as we approach the World Cup this summer.
“After the two games [in November for England, Gareth Southgate] just said it is going to be tough at Swansea, because of the [league] position you are in. He said just go there and work as hard as you can. Just believe in yourself and hopefully get the team out of the mess”
”I would obviously love to go to the World Cup. I have to keep proving myself and that’s what I am willing to do.”
One surprising source of inspiration for the Chelsea loanee has been England teammate and rival Harry Kane, who recently became the second-fastest player ever to 100 Premier League goals with Spurs. Kane, like Abraham, spent time on loan before establishing himself back at White Hart Lane — it certainly wasn’t easy for Kane, despite his success later, as he put his foot down after four different loan stints and decided to fight for his place under Andre Villas-Boas and, later, Tim Sherwood (it was the latter who eventually gave him the chance needed).
Kane joined Spurs at age 11. Abraham joined Chelsea at age 7. He has all the tools and skills to become Chelsea’s Harry Kane.
“[Harry Kane] is a player I have always looked up to and he is one of the greatest strikers. So I obviously follow his past and what he has been through. It gives me confidence as well that there is a light at the end of every tunnel, so it encourages me to keep pushing and try my best.”
-Tammy Abraham; Source: ESPN
The journey from the youth teams to the Chelsea first-team is one fraught with plenty of dangers, distractions, and difficult decisions. But if we play our cards right, Abraham should have a bright future back at Stamford Bridge.