Tammy Abraham Under the Spotlight
Under the Spotlight
Chelsea Football club, one of the richest clubs in modern football, Premier League champions in 2004, 2005, 2010, 2015, and Champions League winners in 2012. They also have one of the greatest youth academies in world football.
Our youth teams can boast winning 4 of the last 5 FA Youth Cup trophies, yet the last player to come through the ranks at Chelsea from the youth academy was 35-year-old John Terry. Where has it all gone wrong? And can any of the newest crop of exciting youth break into Antonio Conte’s revitalised blue army? This week I take a closer look at one of Chelsea’s brightest young attacking talents in many years… Tammy Abraham
Starting in the beginning
Tammy Abraham was born the eldest of two sons on the 2nd of October 1997 in Camberwell, England. He was quickly recognised for his physical attributes and even at a young age towered over other children his own size. Tammy first signed for Chelsea’s youth teams at the age of only 7 in 2004 where he went straight into Chelsea’s U8 set up. Tammy continued to develop in numerous youth sides at the club throughout the following years and was subsequently rewarded for his talents by being selected for the England U18 squad. This was a important decision for Tammy as his father being a native Nigerian had been approached numerous times in Tammy’s youth about the prospect of his son turning out for their own national side. In the end Tammy made his choice clear and has continued to represent England at U18, U19 and recently U21 level scoring 9 times in 21 games for the young lions.
Tammy was allowed to develop alongside some of his life long friends such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ola Aina, Domonic Solanke and Fikayo Tomori all of which have seen great success in the youth set up. Tammy’s most successful period for the youth sides came during the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons as the energetic striker picked up two FA Youth Cups (scoring the winning goal in the 2015-16 final against Manchester City in April) and two UEFA Youth Leagues (the equivalent of the Champions League for U21 players. Tammy was not just a member of the squad for these triumphs, though he was an integral player scoring 8 goals in 9 UEFA Youth League games in 2016 making him the competitions second highest scorer. Tammy continued to flourish in all competitions and in the two years previously mentioned he scored an astounding 74 goals in 98 matches, far greater than the scoring records of similar youth prospects such as Marcus Rashford and Saido Berahino.
Making the grade at Chelsea
Tammy Abraham was making his presence known to all the coaching staff at Chelsea and it was under interim manager Guus Hiddink that Tammy Abraham would fulfil a lifelong dream of every football fan around the world by playing for his boyhood club. On the 11th of May 2016, Tammy Abraham would come on as a 74th minute substitute for Bertrand Traore against none other than bitter rivals Liverpool. The game finished 1-1 and Abraham was not in truth given a long enough time on the pitch to make a great impact but he looked physically up for it and even carved out a brilliant chance towards the final moments of the game that just dragged wide. Tammy would make his home debut only a week later against Leicester City, another game that would end in a 1-1 draw. Despite failing to score in either game Tammy showed fans he was ready to play League Football with men twice his age.
Conte’s view on Tammy
In the summer of 2016, Tammy Abraham was invited by new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte on the pre-season tour to the U.S. This was then followed by the news that Tammy would spend the 2016-2017 season on loan at Bristol City in the Championship. Some fans were glad to see Abraham wants to prove himself in a lower division and others were disappointed that he wasn’t involved immediately with the first team squad. Tammy’s loan is for the entirety of the season and has no early call back clause, similar in nature to the loan contract Andreas Christensen at Borussia Mönchengladbach. Thankfully Tammy has been a roaring success at Bristol City so far (knock on wood) and has scored 11 goals in 14 senior appearances for the reds including 8 in the Championship, making him the competitions’ top goal scorer. Due to this form, Tammy was recently called up for England-U21 international duty and on his second appearance, scored 2 goals in a 5-0 thrashing of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
With Tammy Abraham firing on all cylinders so far this season it looks likely that he will be watched closely by Antonio Conte and his staff in preparation for next season. Though we have seen similar loan spells go fantastically well, such as Patrick Bamford’s 2014 loan spell at Middlesbrough where he was the League’s leading goal scorer with 21 goals. Bamford then suffered 2 failed loan spells at Premier League sides and now finds himself on the bench at Burnley leaving most Chelsea fans wondering what could have been had he been promoted right after his loan success.
So what do you think Chelsea fans? Do you think Tammy Abraham can break through into the first team in coming years or is he destined to suffer a Bamford-esque fate? Also, whom should I cover next in my spotlight series? Feel free to tweet me @StevenClarkeCFC, or at any of the pod members: @bbbusbee, @dandormer, @nickverlaney.
About the author
Steven Clarke is currently a student at the Western Australian University of Murdoch. A devoted Chelsea fan since the late 90’s, and the proud owner of 15 signed Frank Lampard Chelsea shirts.