Tammy Abraham has been on the books at Chelsea since he was 7 years old. He bleeds Chelsea Blue. But when you’re a loan player, the parent club can sometimes seem very far away. Especially when the games aren’t going your way.
“It won’t just fall for me, I have to make it happen.”
”I have learned you have to step it up. I am learning through tough times at a very young age.”
This time a year ago Tammy was in clover, banging goals in for Bristol City in the Championship. He notched 23 in 41 league apperances and was supremely confident heading out to his first Premier League loan at Swansea.
But there’s many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip. Patrick Bamford can testify to that. The then-Chelsea loanee scored 17 goals for Middlesbrough in the Championship in 2014-15. Like Abraham he felt good going on his first Prem loan, at Crystal Palace. Then, slightly less confident going on his second, in January of the same year, to Norwich. And not at all confident by the end of the season because he scored zero goals. Two years later he was out of the Chelsea system, sold to Middlesbrough.
Tammy saw that. And although he’s just twenty years old, he’s desperate to not lose his Chelsea future.
“I like to believe Chelsea is where I will go through and do well. I have been there since I was six years old. My dream is to break into the first team.”
Tammy’s struggles aren’t as big as Bamford’s. He has seven goals overall and four in the Premier League so far this season. But his league goals all came early. He hasn’t scored one since mid-October. In fact, since January 1st he’s played less than a hour in the Prem. He came back from a hip injury but he’s mostly been limited to FA Cup appearances, where he’s done some damage, and late substitutions in the league.
The good thing is, he knows what’s missing.
“Look at the top strikers like Harry Kane and Sergio Agüero. They are ruthless and every time they get a shot people think they are going to score.”
”That is what I have to put into my game.”
This is where the story starts to get really interesting because Tammy has devised a novel way to win his ticket back to Stamford Bridge. The young man is thinking big. Very big.
“If I got into the World Cup squad I would be knocking on the door at Chelsea.”
Tammy got a taste of being on the England team in November, when Gareth Southgate used him in friendlies against Germany and Brazil. He’s returned to the U21s for this international break, because of his loss of form. He’s determined to not only get back in, but also to leverage it into a return to Chelsea.
“I have to finish [the season] strong, look to the World Cup squad this summer and then focus on Chelsea. My aim is to go back and do well with Chelsea.”
“For me, it shows I have to keep doing it at my club, Swansea. It has been a tough spell and I didn’t really expect, with such big competition, to get straight back into the England team.”
”I just have to do my best and get another chance.”
-Tammy Abraham; source: Sky Sports
For a loan player, the distance back to their parent club is measured in more than miles. The journey is fraught with peril and heartbreak. Most don’t make it.
But Tammy Abraham has the tools. He has size, pace, and technical ability. He can pass and he can shoot. The only thing he’s lacking is experience, and that’s what he’s getting right now.
It’s a turbulent trip. Character-building. And it sounds like he has the mentality it takes to navigate it. We all look forward to his safe arrival.