Brighton and Hove Albion are one of two teams hot on the trail of young Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham, who lit up the Championship this past season with 23 goals at the tender age of just 19.
With Tammy earmarked for a Premier League test next season, Albion and fellow Premier League newcomers Newcastle United have been battling it out for the teenager’s signature, but so far both have been left frustrated. Abraham did not make his decision before leaving with the England U21s for the European Championships, which start tomorrow in Poland. It’s unlikely that any decision will be made until after the tournament.
While that’s not an ideal situation, Brighton, according to their CEO, Paul Barber, are willing to play the waiting game.
“It is no secret he is a player of interest to us. There is a lot of competition for Tammy. He is a terrific talent and fine young player. But we don’t just have a single player on our list. We have a cluster of players of the same quality and that is how we work.”
“This whole transfer window, as always, is very much a waiting game. People have to be patient.”
-Paul Barber; source: The Argus
Chelsea themselves are quite familiar with waiting games, so we can commiserate with Albion in that regard. Then again, most transfers cannot actually go through until July 1st, so in that sense, there’s no rush. Preseason officially starts soon after however, so in that sense, these deals better be lined up by then, for Chelsea and Brighton or Newcastle or whoever else. As exciting as transfer deadline day can be, getting business done before preseason is most ideal.
I'd say that lots of deals across football are "done" + clubs are waiting to announce + file paperwork in July for a number of reasons— Jake Cohen (@JakeFCohen) June 12, 2017
Incidentally, Barber also had a good line about why clubs sometimes don’t mind all the nonsense that gets picked up in Silly Season as he rubbished links to John Terry and Jermain Defoe.
“Those are the things that can be frustrating but again sometimes a good camouflage, they draw the fire to somewhere and we can get on with our business in the opposite direction.”
“There is always some stuff out there. 95 per cent of the stuff you see on social media is absolute garbage, but we let it go as sometimes it is a good camouflage for us.”
-Paul Barber; source: Brighton & Hove Independent
Some of Chelsea’s best deals have been similarly camouflaged, it’s worth remembering. So while there’s much gnashing of teeth over the “lack of” signings so far this summer and much shouting and worrying over people supposedly not doing their jobs or doing their jobs badly, we can never truly know what’s actually happening behind the scenes. Best bet is to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.