Ex-Chelsea striker open to return after admitting Arsenal transfer hope

Suraj Radia
Suraj Radia
  • 1 Apr 2023 12:55 BST
  • 2 min read
Graham Potter, Mikel Arteta, Chelsea, Arsenal, 2022/23
© ProShots

Tammy Abraham has admitted he is open to making a Premier League return after revealing he was close to leaving Chelsea for rivals Arsenal before joining Roma.

Abraham came through the academy at Chelsea but failed to establish himself as the club’s starting striker before making a £34 million move to Italy in 2021, where he has scored 23 goals in 64 games for Roma.

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The 25-year-old is understood to have a clause in his contract allowing Chelsea to buy him back this summer for £68m, with the Blues in the market for a striker.

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Despite insisting he was committed to Roma, Abraham refused to rule out a return to his former club and told FourFourTwo of his desire to join London rivals Arsenal after making the decision to leave Chelsea.

‘Never say never in football. Right now, my focus is on Roma — I’ve no other plans. Maybe I’ll stay at Roma for the next ten years, maybe not. You never know,” Abraham said.

“It was time to move on from Chelsea, and I was talking to various clubs in England and Europe. My focus was on a certain London club.

“I didn’t have to move anywhere, I was familiar with the area… it was Arsenal. My dad is a massive Arsenal fan, so he was very keen on it.”

How Jose Mourinho convinced Abraham on Roma move

Abraham was Chelsea’s top scorer before joining Roma but never convinced the club of his capabilities up front and the England international admitted a phone call from Jose Mourinho is what convinced him to move to Italy instead of Arsenal.

He said: "Everything was going well. Then Jose called. I never usually answer numbers I don’t have saved in my contacts. But he said, ‘Hi Tammy, it’s Jose’. I was like, ‘Wow, that’s a surprise!’ He asked how the family was.

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"I was familiar with him because he knew me as a kid at Chelsea. He asked me, ‘Are you ready to leave the bad weather behind and come to sunny Rome?’ I laughed, we spoke a bit more, he told me about the project, his ambitions for the team. He’d only been at the club a short time, but explained what he’d seen and what it was like," Abraham explains.

"I spoke to my agents and they said it was a no-brainer, the perfect time to start a new life, to go abroad and learn about a different culture. I was so ready for it, and I haven’t looked back since."

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