If you’re Tammy Abraham and you’re looking at Chelsea’s current standout options, you’re probably left scratching your head.
When the club paid out £53million to Timo Werner last summer, his chances at football in the first team were quickly written off – but the German was unable to prove he was an upgrade as he struggled to meet Premier League demands.
Abraham scored the same number of goals as the former Leipziger (12) last season, after having played 20 games less and finishing as Chelsea’s joint top scorer. But that didn’t stop him from dropping Thomas Tuchel’s pecking order after being given a shot at Stamford Bridge by predecessor Frank Lampard.
Even with Olivier Giroud moving to AC Milan, the club are still ready to part ways with the attacker, and their loss could be Arsenal’s win.
Tammy Abraham looks likely to leave Chelsea as Arsenal are reportedly circling for him hem
A move to the Gunners could revive his career after falling into Chelsea’s pecking order
The Gunners would lead the race to sign Chelsea’s unwanted man ahead of rivals Tottenham and West Ham, and with Mikel Arteta’s men himself having trouble in front of goal last season, it could be a match that made it heavenly.
Raised as an Arsenal fan and idolized Thierry Henry, the 23-year-old would seize the opportunity to make the move to the Emirates and earn hero status as the legendary Frenchman did.
“To be honest I was an Arsenal fan. It made no difference at Chelsea,” he revealed in 2017. “When you’re young and you choose who you want to support, if it’s a family affair, it’s a family affair. Luckily for me it was a family thing so it wasn’t much of an issue at Chelsea.”
Abraham has serious ambition and faith – something the current Arsenal squad could use
He grew up supporting Arsenal and idolizing Thierry Henry – he even vowed to get better than the Gunners legend
“One I looked up to was Thierry Henry. His variations in finishing, his movements, the way he dribbles… such a person has a big impact on me. I’d love to be as big as him and maybe even better.’
This is an ambitious man who once expressed his desire to win the Ballon d’Or when he was loaned out to Swansea in the Championship. And he wasn’t kidding.
Arsenal are now in desperate need of someone with a little fire in their stomachs after falling to eighth in the 2020-21 season and seeing their two main frontmen stutter at the top. Much of their hopes were pinned on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after he put an end to speculation about his future by signing a new deal, but he had a slow start, finishing with just 10 Premier League goals and 15 in all competitions .
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (L) struggled for goals last season, with Alexandre Lacazette becoming the key man at the top
|Eredivisie||Tammy Abraham||Pierre Emerick Aubameyang||Alexandre Lacazette||Pepe|
|Minutes per goal||172.3||233.6||148.3||161.2|
|Shot conversion rate||18.8||17.5||28.9||20.8|
|Great chances scored||5||6||12||4|
|Missed great opportunities||4||7||9||3|
Alexandre Lacazette eventually became the main man, scoring 13 times in the league and 17 times in all competitions. He was closely followed by Nicolas Pepe with 10 in the league and 16 in all competitions.
In the Premier League, Abraham played far less than the Arsenal forwards last season due to his low pecking order at Chelsea, with just six goals in 12 starts.
However, Opta’s statistics show that he had a better minutes per goal ratio (172.3) than Aubameyang (233.6) and a better shot conversion at 18.8 per cent, while the former Dortmund man had 17.5 per cent.
On the pitch, Abraham scored five goals considered ‘great opportunities’, compared to six for Aubameyang and 12 for Lacazette. He missed four big chances to score, with the Gabon striker failing to cash in seven and Lacazette nine.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta hopes to get his Gunners side back into the top four
If he caught up with Abraham, Arteta would get three quality strikers while also relieving Aubameyang and Lacazette for goals. He would like to start games after becoming frustrated at Chelsea, but Aubameyang’s ability to play on the wing could give him more opportunities up front.
Arsenal haven’t had a new striker since the days of Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck, which has hurt the team. If you’re not aware, you need a player who can come in and change the landscape.
Abraham has done that for Chelsea, despite being frequently overlooked. Last season in the league, he was only beaten by Jorginho – whose seven strikes were all penalties. And a closer look at Chelsea’s stats reveals that with 30 goals, he has more goals than anyone else in the current squad.
The only other players who can match him are another striker who has barely taken a look – Michy Batshuayi with 25 and long-serving defender Marco Alonso with 24. Midfielders Jorginho, Mason Mount and Chrisian Pulisic all have 17.
Abraham was Chelsea’s joint top scorer last season with Werner, despite the German being expected to score the goals following his £53million transfer last summer.
But boss Tuchel has insisted he is not interested in historical records and can only judge what he sees before him, admitting that Abraham has been through “a rough time” since he took charge.
“I don’t think he’s been the top scorer since I came,” he said in April. ‘I can only judge what I see. I saw a bright young man before me. I saw a man who is confident, who has a lot of talent. But it can’t be that in a period of such good results, the guys who don’t play are suddenly the winners.
“This doesn’t make sense to me. He was unavailable for several weeks, so now is the time to do crazy things and try things? If you just look at the data, you say, “Okay, he’s the top scorer.” If you look at the data, since we’re there, maybe it will tell you a different story.”
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has made it clear that Abraham is not in his future plans at the club
Abraham has already broken barriers at Chelsea. As a youngster, he admired the likes of Didier Drogba and Diego Costa, but broke the cycle of only foreign, established internationals leading the way at Stamford Bridge. When he was called up by Lampard during his first season, he scored 18 goals and showed what he can do when given the chance to start games.
It would have been hard for him to miss Euro 2020, and he is at a crossroads in his career – with Qatar’s World Cup next year – and only two years left with his Chelsea contract.
One striker who knows something about being out of favor at the club is former Blues striker Carlton Cole, who this week urged Abraham to “know his worth” and “feel appreciated”.
“You get to a point where you have to learn your worth,” Cole told talkSPORT.
Abraham craves the opportunity to show his worth and become the most important man in his career
“He has been loaned out and has done very well at Aston Villa, Swansea and came back to Chelsea and did well. They still don’t value him the way they should and the way he feels he should be valued.
“He didn’t play in the backend last season and obviously he’s not in Thomas Tuchel’s plans because he didn’t play.
Tuchel doesn’t like him and I’d look at other options if I were him and say ‘let me go and be the main man somewhere”.
Cole became a success at West Ham, who are interested in Abraham and outperformed Arsenal last year. But the striker has the quality, drive and passion for the club to bolster the Gunners’ arsenal and bring a sleeping giant back into the fray.