Tammy Abraham scored 18 goals last season to lead the team, but because most of those goals came in the first-half of the season, with Olivier Giroud rising to prominence in the second, and because Chelsea spent big on Timo Werner, the young striker’s accomplishments have fallen by the wayside.
But let us not forget that at just 22 years of age, the kid from the Academy, born just across the river in South London, and at Chelsea since before age 8 — truly “one of our own” — did something that only Diego Costa, Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka, and Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink have accomplished in the last 20 years: score 15 non-penalty goals in the Premier League. In fact, his 18 goals in all competitions are the most by a homegrown player since Peter Osgood, the man whose statue stands at the Bridge, scored 31 in 1972.
Given those numbers — both goals- and age-wise — there should be no question about his place in the team next season, yet here we are. Fortunately, even as rumors lean into that narrative, they make it clear that Abraham is very much ready to “fight for his place” in the team.
Case in point, the Mail claiming that Aston Villa, where Abraham spent a very productive season on loan two years ago, have made an approach, but which was swiftly rejected by Abraham, who’s “set to turn down any advances made this summer”.
As he should.
That’s not say that Abraham doesn’t have his work cut out for him (and the quarantine is probably not helping). As the second half of last season proved, there’s plenty of competition for minutes (which has only increased since) and Lampard’s not afraid to go with the hot hand. Tammy had a very good first year, breaking the Curse of the No.9, getting his contract extended by a year to 2023, and playing an instrumental role in Chelsea’s Youth Revolution.
But like for the rest of squad, his work truly begins now.