Attacker | Swansea, Chelsea and Aston Villa | England
Tammy Abraham continues to be one of the leading lights of Chelsea’s heavily criticised loan system and, much like the majority of the Blues’ youth players, it’s difficult to see him ever being anything other than that at Stamford Bridge.
But Chelsea’s loss can be another club’s gain, as the likes of Bristol City, Swansea and Aston Villa have found out in recent seasons. The 21-year-old perfectly sums up the classic ‘great feet for a big man’ cliche, with his 6ft 3in frame doing little to prevent him from being more than just an aerial threat.
Aside from his finishing ability, Abraham’s physicality is his main strength and he uses it well to hold up play and brush off defenders when on the run. However, there have been question marks over his ability to consistently perform at the highest level, with a season on-loan at Swansea City failing to really set the Premier League alight.
In the Championship, though, he has been a real threat for Bristol City and Aston Villa, the latter being the club so desperate to keep hold of him for the remainder of the 18/19 season, thanks to his goals and assists in the latter stages of 2018.
2018 has been…
… a mixed bag, and unless he can secure a permanent move away from Stamford Bridge then the fear is 2019 won’t be much different.
Abraham was unable to save Swansea from relegation in the first half of the year, scoring just one goal for the Swans after the turn of the year as he failed to build on the four goals he scored before Christmas. However, Swansea’s situation didn’t help him, nor did the fact he had to play under three different managers during his time at the Liberty Stadium.
A brief cameo off the bench in Chelsea’s Community Shield defeat to Manchester City in August gave some of us hope that new Stamford Bridge chief Maurizio Sarri had plans for the striker, but he was soon shipped off to Aston Villa on loan, which is where he has flourished under both Steve Bruce and Dean Smith.
With the end of the year approaching fast, Abraham has 12 goals in 16 league appearances for Villa, including an incredible four-goal haul in a 5-5 thriller v Nottingham Forest in November. It’s the kind of form which has had Premier League clubs sniffing around him ahead of the January window, but it once again raises the question whether he is capable of replicating such goal scoring consistency in the top-flight.
He has five goals in 33 Premier League appearances compared to 35 in 57 in the second-tier, but it would be harsh to deny him another crack at it in the future.
For Abraham to improve and eventually fulfil his undeniable potential then he must seek a permanent move away from Stamford Bridge. Moving from club to club each year on loan will prevent him being the striker we all know he can be, so that should be his priority in 2019.
He could do worse than to sign for a club pushing for promotion in the Championship, with a view of then taking on the top-flight while still in familiar surroundings and playing style - otherwise more upheaval and change will dent his prospects.