Chelsea are set to wrap up the €60m signing of Timo Werner, making a massive statement of intent in what is expected to be a depressed, pandemic-hit transfer market this summer.
But as exciting as that is for the team’s prospects, both for next season and hopefully well beyond, it does raise some questions about current first-choice Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham’s long-term future, especially as he’s been involved in contract negotiations with the club for some time now. The Academy graduate has two years left on a contract that pays him relatively little. He’s due a big raise, and rightly so, but he may think twice now about signing up.
Of course, having grown up at Chelsea since age 7, Abraham should be more than familiar with how things are done at a top level club, especially one as laser-focused on winning as Chelsea. Will Tammy be another Didier and “devour” the competition, or will he shirk from the task? His career so far would indicate the former is much more likely than the latter — he’s already broken the “Curse of the No.9 Shirt” after all — but one never truly knows until the hard questions are asked.
According to The Athletic, Tammy is “keeping an open mind” about Werner, understanding that Chelsea were always going to reinforce the position and “will back himself” to keep collecting regular minutes. Lampard has shown that he doesn’t pick teams based on transfer fees, and while no meritocracy is as perfect as in theory, his implementation has been about as good as it can be in the real world.
Whether that happens does also depend on how Lampard might utilize the incoming goal-machine. The analytical consensus so far is that a two-striker system would be most ideal — Abraham the big, Werner the small — but that’s just a theory at this point. Abraham and Werner are different enough in terms of playing style; we just need to figure out how to best utilize that to our advantage.
Abraham was reportedly close to signing a new contract before all this, but he’s likely to wait a little bit to see how things shake out. Still, the report claims that Chelsea and Lampard “remain confident” that an extension will be worked out, especially as he still considers Abraham “central” to his long-term plans, and feels that it will be good for the 22-year-old to “feel pushed” and have proper competition.
Let’s hope so! If both Timo and Tammy end up playing and scoring a lot, we will probably all be very happy.