Thomas Tuchel has described Tammy Abraham as ‘worried, sad and angry’ about his lack of playing time at Chelsea since he took the reins at Stamford Bridge.
Abraham, 23, enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence under Tuchel’s predecessor Frank Lampard as part of the English manager’s policy of integrating academy products into the first team, but since the German took charge he has been restricted to a peripheral role.
Since Tuchel’s first game as Chelsea boss at the end of January, Abraham has completed just 123 minutes of Premier League action, with the England international twice substituted off at half time, in the 2-0 win over Burnley and the 1-1 draw with Southampton.
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The Blues have been in stellar form since Tuchel stepped into the dugout, recently securing their place in the Champions League semi-final and FA Cup final, and while results have certainly been encouraging without Abraham in the side, the German admitted his decision has not been easy.
Tuchel commented: “Everybody is concerned when they’re not in the squad but it’s never an easy decision for me to take.
“I have a lot of sympathy for him and I can understand that he is worried and sad and maybe angry with me when I make these decisions.
“Sometimes we spend almost an hour talking after the last training which decisions to take and which players we have to leave at home because it’s thin margins which decide.
“Tammy has had this decision now a few times against him which is never personal but this is life at Chelsea sometimes as a player.
“I hope that he does not get lost in too many thoughts because he knows not to be too concerned about his situation.
“Everything he can do is stay focused and stay with belief because the situation for a striker can change in minutes.
“We have an important training coming up and my decisions are not made yet.”
Abraham under Lampard
The 23-year-old proved a revelation during Lampard’s maiden campaign in the west London hotseat, notching 18 goals across all competitions as Chelsea finished fourth in the Premier League and reached the FA Cup final.
Despite recently dropping out of the side, and not even making the bench in the club’s 1-0 FA Cup win over Manchester City at the weekend, Abraham remains the club’s highest scorer this season with 12 goals, 11 of which came under Lampard, including a hat-trick in his final game in charge against Luton.
Whether Abraham can fight his way back into first-team plans and ask questions of Tuchel’s selection policy remains to be seen, but recent reports suggest the Chelsea striker is considering his future at the club after his latest FA Cup snub, with West Ham and Leicester among those thought to be interested.
It would be a shame if Abraham were to leave the club he joined as a seven year old and progressed through the ranks with, particularly as he once harboured ambitions of following in the esteemed footsteps of club legend Didier Drogba and writing his own legacy at Stamford Bridge.
“I’ve always wanted to be like him [Drogba], always hungry to score goals,” Abraham told the Mirror in 2019.
After a midweek battle with Brighton, Chelsea next face a proverbial six-pointer with top-four rivals and the club reportedly interest in Abraham, West Ham, this weekend, but whether the 23-year-old plays a part in either game is yet to be decided.