Chelsea have struggled to replace the likes of Didier Drogba and Diego Costa in recent years, but Thomas Tuchel’s ready-made replacement has already been sold
Tammy Abraham has now scored more goals than other Chelsea striker has managed across all competitions in a single season since Didier Drogba in 2010, handing the west London side a valuable lesson. The 24-year-old guided Jose Mourinho’s side to a three-goal demolition of Lazio, clawing Giallorossi back into the race for Champions League football.
The Cobham graduate’s double in Derby della Capitale smashed Gabriel Batistuta’s record, scoring more goals in a debut season with Roma than any other player in the club’s history. Mourinho’s number nine is now just two goals behind Dusan Vlahovic’s total this campaign, questioning the plausibility of the England international’s sale in the summer.
Abraham found the net against Maurizio Sarri’s side in the opening seconds before doubling his tally midway through the first-half. Lorenzo Pellegrini grabbed the third of the evening with a mouth-watering free-kick, nudging Roma closer to Juventus who are eight points adrift in the Serie A.
The former Chelsea striker, who despite going toe-to-toe with the Old Lady’s £67m talisman, has gone under the radar as one of Europe’s most prolific goalscorers this season. Abraham has – sadly – always had to contend with waves of doubt throughout his career. Still, he’s always left fans, pundits and coaches eating their hats.
Reece James took to Instagram, urging the football community to pay more respect to former Chelsea teammate and in-form striker Abraham as he continues to impress in Italy.
The Blues’ right-back said: “Number don’t lie. Pay some respect, please.”
Abraham hasn’t received enough recognition for his bright displays on Italian soil, nor did he when leading the line at Stamford Bridge. The irony is, while many continue to berate him for the simplicity of his goals, Romelu Lukaku has often struggled to convert the so-called ‘easiest of chances’.
The Englishman is an instinctive poacher, but he’s now beginning to evolve into the all-encompassing modern striker. He has been hailed for his development by Mourinho.
“When you all said that Abraham is fantastic, I did not agree because I know the potential he has, and I know that he is capable of what he did today,” the Roma boss said after the victory over Lazio. “And I’m not just talking about the two goals, but I’m talking about how he played, how he pressed, how he won the ball back. Because, for example, against Vitesse, he didn’t do that as much.
“I demand a lot of Tammy because I know his potential. Today is what Tammy is capable of, and he needs to keep playing like this. I don’t mean the goals because you can score one day and miss another, but he needs to have the attitude he showed today in every game.”
Thomas Tuchel has the ability to buy Abraham back from July 2023 onwards, with the fee believed to be €80m (£67m), according to Pinto via Fabrizio Romano. You only realise the importance of someone once they are gone, and Chelsea have been left with a hefty price to pay.