The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at Tammy Abraham’s ideal destination as Arsenal, Aston Villa and West Ham eye summer swoop for the Chelsea outcast.
Chelsea’s unprecedented success under Thomas Tuchel during the second half of last season has emerged as talk of the town for the footballing world this summer. With the Champions League win and a top-four finish in the Premier League, many are expecting the west London giants to dominate European football next season.
However, amid all the success, there have been a few players who have endured a decline in stature under the German tactician, with Tammy Abraham being one of them.
Once a revered star at Stamford Bridge under Frank Lampard, the English forward has been deemed surplus to requirements by Tuchel, after falling behind Timo Werner in the pecking order last season. And according to Football Insider, he is now ready to leave the club, with West Ham, Arsenal and Aston Villa all in contention to snap him up this summer.
Abraham is demanding a rather lucrative £130,000-a-week deal, and there is no doubt that all of these three interested parties are capable of affording the striker. But which club would be the best fit?
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a deep dive into Abraham’s sporting prospects in each of three options, determining which club is better suited for the Chelsea striker as he looks to take the next step in his career.
Aston Villa: The Homecoming
A return to Aston Villa should serve as an ideal homecoming for Tammy Abraham, who made a huge splash during his sensational one-year loan spell at Villa Park. Coming on the back of a five-goal season at Swansea, he joined the club in 2018 on a year-long loan deal. The move turned out to be extremely beneficial for both parties, as Abraham ended the campaign with 25 goals in the Championship.
His exploits earned him a direct place in Frank Lampard’s Chelsea squad the following campaign whereas Aston Villa returned to the Premier League. Although the Villans tried to secure his services permanently, Lampard’s persistence paid off for the Blues as he was intent on keeping hold of the Englishman, who scored 15 goals in the following campaign.
But it appears a return to Aston Villa could be on the cards once again for Abraham this summer. The club has shown a lot of promise and ambition, having already brought in Emi Buendia and Ashley Young while Leon Bailey is expected to join soon.
From a sporting perspective, Abraham is likely to serve as a competitor for Ollie Watkins. The former Brentford man was Villa’s main goalscoring forward last season with 14 league goals. But in Abraham, Dean Smith should find himself a proven goalscorer, who could pair him up with Watkins or use the latter out wide, especially with Jack Grealish more than likely to depart.
Therefore, the Chelsea forward shouldn’t have too many difficulties in gaining regular first-team minutes. But a lot will depend on how quickly he can make an impression, knowing the likes of Watkins, Buendia and Bailey are quite capable of leaving him behind in the pecking order.
THT Destination Rating: 9/10
West Ham: The Realistic Option
Following his struggles at Chelsea, Tammy Abraham would naturally prefer a move to a high-end Premier League club who can give him a realistic platform for showcasing his talent in England. West Ham United fits the bill perfectly as they not only enjoying an upward trend but can also offer Europa League football.
Coming on the back of a successful 2020/21 campaign that saw them finish sixth, West Ham are indeed heading into the new season with lots of optimism. However, having lost Jesse Lingard, David Moyes is anxious about his team’s quality in the final third, especially with Jarrod Bowen also emerging as a target for Liverpool.
At the moment, the Hammers rely on the services of Michail Antonio in the goalscoring department. But with no reliable alternatives, the forward has had to feature week in week out, raising questions as to whether he can keep up with his fitness throughout the entirety of next season. And that is where someone like Tammy Abraham comes into the fray.
The 23-year-old can be that exact attacking competition Moyes is looking for. Not only that but the forward offers pace, aggression and tenacity that make him a scourge on the counter. Such a style of play is tailor-made for a West Ham who have emerged as a competent counter-attacking side under the tutelage of Moyes.
Tactically, it will be difficult for the ex-Manchester United boss to accommodate both Abraham and Antonio in the same team. But with a slight tweak in his formation, the two will be up and running, especially given the fact that Antonio can operate out wide if required. Hence, in many ways, West Ham United are perhaps the most realistic option for the Chelsea outcast as far his potential destinations go. They can offer.
THT Destination Rating: 8/10
Last but certainly not least, Arsenal are the biggest club on this list and somewhat shocking contenders for Tammy Abraham. While there is no surprise behind Mikel Arteta’s search for a new number nine, his desire to sign the Chelsea forward is certainly perplexing given he already has an identical player at his disposal, in the shape of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Unfortunately, the Gabonese international has had a difficult time operating under Arteta. The lack of chance creation in the final third was one of the main reasons behind the striker’s underwhelming 2020/21 but the player himself was uncharacteristically sloppy in front of goal.
Other options like Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah also failing to make an impact don’t help Arsenal’s cause either. And with that in mind, it is perhaps needless to point out that the north London giants are, in fact, keen on offloading both, with Abraham being targeted as a potential replacement candidate.
It is bound to be a questionable move, one that will further fuel the animosity between the sets of fans. But from sporting terms, the 23-year-old should be an excellent replacement for Lacazette, who is reportedly being valued at around £15 million.
Abraham’s ability to get in behind defences might be a handy tool for an Arsenal side that relies heavily on clever runners, thanks to their chance creators like Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe. Perhaps more importantly, the forward can further enhance his performances by learning the Pep Guardiola inspired “juego de posicion” system that puts emphasis on positional sense.
Chelsea themselves won’t be all too reluctant in offloading Abraham even to their direct rivals if they can match their demands. For the player, though, it will be essential that Arsenal get rid of their existing attacker, failing which they cannot guarantee first-team minutes or not they can afford the Englishman in the first place.
THT Destination Rating: 8.5/10