Tammy Abraham: How did €40m man perform on Roma debut?
Tammy Abraham’s quarantine only ended on Sunday morning, but by the evening he was introducing himself to Serie A in the best way possible.
The England forward had been confined to his room after completing his €40m transfer to Roma from Chelsea and had barely had time to interact with his team-mates or new coach Jose Mourinho prior to their clash with Fiorentina.
But he showed a level of understanding that will be a source of huge satisfaction to Jose and the Giallorossi in what was a superb clash.
In the first half, he cutely stepped over the ball to allow Lorenzo Pellegrini to smash an effort on goal that went narrowly wide, clearly aware of where his team-mate was coming from to make the run.
Then it was his sprint to stretch the defence that pulled Bartlomiej Dragowski from his line and drew a straight red foul from the goalkeeper, tipping the balance of the match in Roma’s favour.
And not long after he timed his pass to perfection to slip in Henrikh Mkhitaryan to take a touch and slot past the replacement stopper, Pietro Terracciano. It looked like an obvious offside and was flagged as such, but in fact Tammy had timed the pass, and Mkhi the run, to perfection.
Into the second half, Abraham smashed a header against the crossbar and then provided his second superb assist of the night, sliding the ball across goal for Jordan Veretout to slot home. It was another excellent break with another perfectly-timed run.
Improvement from Chelsea already
Abraham’s 0.59 xA was the joint-highest for the clash along with the Viola’s Erick Pulgar, which is something which may surprise Chelsea fans; he managed just a single assist in the entirety of last season, which suggests perhaps this move will unlock a different, more complete, side of Tammy’s game.
He came off after 71 minutes, absolutely shattered but into a warm embrace with Mourinho.
Abraham has never truly had a run of games at club level in his career. It will be exciting to see what he can produce, given the chance.