On today’s podcast, we talked about how Maurizio Sarri has a reputation for ‘hating the transfer market’ and prefers to work with the players already at the club.
Ignore all the transfer rumours for the moment – let us pretend it is true.
It’s not as if Chelsea are short of a player or two, is it?
It was only when he played in yesterday’s match against the Arsenal that I remembered Tammy Abraham must still be on Chelsea’s books.
Abraham is young, English and undoubtedly talented – like many at Chelsea, like Ruben Loftus-Cheek, for example.
Tammy Abraham needs games, but will he even be in Maurizio Sarri’s 25-man Premier League squad?
He is in competition, before any signings like Robert Lewandowski, with Alvaro Morata, Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayai for the striker position – presuming as we are that Sarri continues to use his 433 shape from Napoli.
Granted, all the other three are being linked with moves away from the club but does that increase Tammy Abraham’s chances? And, more importantly, should it?
In this piece I am ignoring Alvaro Morata for now, as I firmly believe he will leave Chelsea in this window – if not on a permanent deal, certainly on loan.
I’ve chosen to compare Tammy Abraham to Michy Batshuayai, a player who was signed from Marseille – raising some eyebrows among the pro-Tammy Abraham crowd, wondering why Chelsea were bringing in another striker of a similar age to slow down Abraham’s development.
But first, let us remind ourselves of Tammy Abraham’s career to date.
Tammy Abraham first became known to non-Chelsea fans with his loan spell at Bristol City in the season before last. He scored 26 goals in the English Championship before being loaned to Swansea City last season – Swansea, as many will remember, were relegated from English Premier League with Abraham scoring four times.
Tammy Abraham vs Michy Batshuayai
As I mentioned, a few eyebrows were raised when Chelsea signed Batshuayai from Marseille as people were hoping to see Abraham, a Chelsea Academy product, given a chance in the Premier League.
Were Chelsea right to sign Michy and, more importantly, where does Tammy Abraham rank compared to the Belgian now?
Using Squawka we can compare the two strikers.
The statistics are somewhat damning.
Strikers are paid for the goals they score and as you can see, when it comes to the top level Abraham is found wanting compared to Michy.
Tammy Abraham managed just 0.22 goals per 90 playing in the Premier League compared to Batshuayai netting 0.51 and 1.51 per 90 over the last two seasons.
Batshuayai had a superior shot accuracy and, as expected given the disparity, had a far higher attacking score.
Just in the interests of comparing Batshuayai to a more seasoned Premier League striker, I compared him to Olivier Giroud.
As you can see, over the last two season Batshuayai more than holds his own against Giroud, a World Cup winner.
With reports of Olivier Giroud being sold to Marseille, is Sarri looking at Michy to be his main striker if they cannot bring in a big name?
All that is well and good but where does it leave Tammy Abraham?
For me, there are only two potential outcomes here for Tammy Abraham. He is not ready to be first or second choice at Chelsea, currently. There is no point him being third choice and his development slowing further.
Ideally, I would like to see him get a loan spell at a Premier League side not fighting relegation. This loan move would be with a view to him continuing his development playing in a stronger team and then Chelsea can take another view at the end of the season.
If that is not available then Tammy Abraham has to leave Stamford Bridge and rebuild his career – a move to a Championship side pushing for promotion could be a good step back to take several forward in the future.