When Chelsea spent the best part of £200m rebuilding their attack this summer, many were expecting that Tammy Abraham would be one of the first to drop out of the side.
The England international was Chelsea’s top goalscorer in all competitions last season, scoring 18 goals including 15 in the Premier League. That wasn’t enough for the Blues to be as successful as they wanted though, finishing fourth in the league and exiting the Champions League at the round of 16 to Bayern Munich.
He even lost his place to Olivier Giroud towards the end of the campaign, as the Frenchman scored key goals post-lockdown to lead Chelsea to the FA Cup final where they were beaten by Arsenal.
The arrival of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech plus the added important of Christian Pulisic to the side made it seem that Abraham could fall by the way-side with Frank Lampard looking for more proven outlets in attack.
The season started this way, with Werner being partnered in attack by Mason Mount and Kai Havertz while Abraham sat on the bench. In recent weeks however, Abraham has worked his way back into the starting lineup and is back among the goals.
The former Aston Villa and Swansea loanee has started each of Chelsea’s last four games, scoring in the last three consecutively. Every strike was a one touch finish and came in the penalty area, which is standard for a striker like Abraham.
His finishing has never been a big issue in all honesty, he’s a fairly reliable goalscorer when put in positions to score goals. His main problem, as seen last season, was his work outside of goalscoring.
Much like Romelu Lukaku’s criticisms at Manchester United, his overall game when the side isn’t creating chances for him didn’t help the side to progress or help his teammates to do better. His hold up play is hot and cold, his touch is good but his passing is often not good enough and his decision making lets him down far too often for this level of the game.
In games such as these, where Chelsea will dominate the possession and be up against a low block then Abraham’s finishing instincts could be very useful for the Blues.
However in games against sides that will take it to Chelsea, Abraham’s lack of fundamentals are exactly the reason why Lampard insisted on bolstering the attack so heavily in the summer.
Abraham is a throwback to an old school penalty box striker, who’s role in the squad was to simply score goals. The role of a striker has changed in modern football for the elite strikers, but there is still a space for the classic style of Tammy Abraham.
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