Perhaps the greatest success of Frank Lampard’s spell in charge of Chelsea was his integration of Cobham youngsters into the first-team; Mason Mount, Reece James, and Tammy Abraham being prominent examples.
The latter of those three, Abraham, divides opinion amongst Chelsea fans, and facing competition from Timo Werner, and prominently Olivier Giroud, he’s no longer first-choice under new boss Thomas Tuchel.
In fact, since Tuchel’s arrival at Stamford Bridge, Abraham has amassed just 123 Premier League minutes (from a possible 540), and he’s yet to complete more than a half of league action; coming off at half-time against Burnley and Southampton, and being substituted after 20 minutes due to injury at home to Newcastle.
It’s clear that Abraham isn’t the ideal striker for Tuchel.
However, Abraham netted 18 goals and grabbed four assists in all competitions last season after returning from a successful loan spell at Aston Villa, and despite not being a huge name, his pedigree is exceptional.
With an xG + xA per 90 tally of 0.85 last term, better than Jamie Vardy’s 0.75 and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 0.60, Abraham hit the ground running in the Chelsea first-team.
Furthermore, Giroud is now 34-years-old, and despite showing that he’s not lost an inch of athleticism with his bicycle kick against Atletico Madrid, he will begin to decline soon, and that could clear the path for the number nine slot to be filled by Abraham under the German manager.
Whilst Tuchel might not favour him now, he’s got time and talent on his side.
Abraham or Haaland?
However, the spanner in the works for the 23-year-old Englishman is Chelsea’s pursuit of Borussia Dortmund’s superstar Erling Haaland.
The Norwegian is said to be on Chelsea’s radar, and the Athletic have reported that Abraham is unwilling to sign a new deal at Stamford Bridge, his current one expires in 2023, whilst the club are linked with the Norwegian striker.
Abraham, who is both Chelsea’s top scorer in the Premier League with six goals, and in all competitions with 12, wants assurances about his place in the first-team, and Haaland’s potential arrival would scupper such demands.
Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola revealed to BBC Sport that there are four Premier League clubs fighting for his client’s signature, and with Roman Abramovich set to give Tuchel a hefty transfer kitty to play with this summer, Haaland could well be on his way to jeopardise Abraham’s future at Chelsea.
The Norway international has scored 17 goals in 17 Bundesliga appearances this season, as well as netting eight in just five Champions League games; he’s truly an elite forward.
His acrobatic effort against rivals Schalke was just further proof to the argument that he is simply a machine.
Ever since his emergence onto the scene in the Champions League with RB Salzburg, or even earlier when he scored nine goals against Honduras in the Under-20 World Cup in May 2019, Haaland has been destined for great things.
Chelsea will have to consider whether signing him, for a whopping fee this summer or triggering his £68 million release clause in 2022, will put an end to Abraham’s future at the club; with Haaland involved, it seems almost certainly worth it.