Frank Lampard’s Chelsea have made significant headways in the transfer market, bolstering their squad with some consequential additions like Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner. But with the latter’s arrival, a certain Tammy Abraham’s part in Lampard’s adolescent wave has come under heavy scrutiny.
The 22-year-old striker, who impressed one and all while on loan at Aston Villa in 2018/19 Championship season, made an exhilarating start to the recently concluded Premier League season. Seven goals in his opening five league games paved way for Chelsea to finally have answers to their number nine woes, and the streak continued right until Chelsea’s 3-0 home win against Burnley in early January where Abraham notched his 13th goal of the league.
A slump in form since coupled with Olivier Giroud stepping up on given opportunities have now seen Abraham making a handful of cameo appearances since football has resumed. He has, in fact, played full 90 minutes on just two occasions, with one of them coming in an FA Cup encounter against Leicester City. As far as goals are concerned, he has notched just two goals since scoring against Burnley, and Lampard has heavily favoured Giroud in getting goals.
The Frenchman, since the Premier League’s project restart, has been breathtaking, to say the least, scoring seven goals in 10 appearances in all competitions.
Giroud deserves so much for the credit for the season he is having now.— FutbolChelsea (@FutbolCheIsea) July 20, 2020
He was so close to leaving in January after being left as third choice, he stayed, worked hard to get back into the team and is now reaping the rewards.
Elite mentality, a top role model for Tammy Abraham. pic.twitter.com/Tb7Lk4Oxuv
Abraham’s plunge has indeed been catastrophic, but he has time and again been criticised for lacking the clinical edge especially against the team from the top half of the table. Except for his goal against Arsenal in December last year, he has failed to score or even provide an assist against the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and even Tottenham.
The issues are deeper as far as Abraham is concerned. While his attitude since being dropped from the starting XI has been questioned, his contractual situation remains another worry. He did extend his stay earlier this month, but that was merely a year’s extension to the deal he signed in 2017. The striker hasn’t been given a pay rise, and this is where things might go south.
At 22, the young forward would want to be a part of the first team for as much as he could, but Werner’s arrival is expected to shake things up a bit. But as things stand for Abraham, he still has Olivier Giroud to contend with, let alone fight the newly arrived German international for the first-team spot.
Is Abraham on the verge of becoming another Michy Batshuayi for Chelsea? While another tenure on loan is looking highly unlikely, a greater possibility is that Lampard would majorly use him either as an impact sub against the teams who sit deep and defend, or for the cup games to give Werner a rest.
Or if Lampard is to tweak his tactic a bit, he can try linking both of his attackers (Abraham and Werner) in an old-school 4-4-2 approach, which is certainly not new to the German, having already played alongside Yussuf Poulsen at RB Leipzig.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Glyn Kirk