Roma have done incredibly well to sign Tammy Abraham from Chelsea so soon after the talismanic Edin Dzeko departed to join Serie A champions Inter. Losing a key player so late in the window can often derail a season before it has even begun.
By being proactive and signing Tammy Abraham, Roma have potentially averted a crisis. That being said, splashing €40 million on any player in the current financial climate is a risky move. It is clear that the club and Jose Mourinho have a huge amount of faith in Tammy Abraham to be the major source of goals within the team in 2021/22.
Who is Tammy Abraham?
Tammy Abraham is leaving European champions Chelsea to launch a new part of both his career and his life. He broke through at Chelsea under Frank Lampard during the 2019/20 season and was one of the players, like Milan’s Fikayo Tomori, who benefitted from the transfer ban that Chelsea were under at the time.
The Blues have a reputation for loaning out a remarkable amount of youngsters without ever giving them a chance in the first team. Whilst transfers were no longer possible, many more young players were given a chance in the first team. Tammy Abraham took that chance and scored 18 goals across the Premier League and the Champions League that year.
The 23-year-old had put in the hard yards with three loan moves at Aston Villa, Bristol City, and Swansea City in the English second tier before getting his opportunity at Chelsea. Unfortunately for him the good times at Chelsea only really lasted until Frank Lampard was sacked in January 2021.
The Chelsea legend was swiftly replaced by the former Paris Saint-Germain boss, Thomas Tuchel, who quickly pivoted away from the younger players and prioritised the minutes of Timo Werner up front rather than Abraham. The Englishman still managed 22 Premier League appearances in 2020/21 but they were predominantly from the subs bench. He notched six league goals but did make the most of his three FA Cup appearances by scoring four times.
The lack of first-team football meant any outside hopes that Abraham had of making England’s squad for Euro 2020 soon disappeared.
What are Roma getting?
In short, the Giallorossi are getting a striker who can do a bit of everything. Abraham is an adept finisher, at 1.9 metres he has headed goals in his game, and he’s got a good blend of physicality as well as the ability to run beyond a defender at pace.
Edin Dzeko’s shoes are incredibly difficult to fill given the Bosnian was at Roma for six years and bagged 119 goals and 55 assists for the club during that time. There’s a very real possibility that Abraham will take a bit of time to get firing in Italy given he is moving to a new country at a young age, and at a time where visits to or from family friends are not very easily done.
The initial load upfront may need to be shouldered by a fellow new boy, Uzbekistani striker Eldor Shomurodov who joined from Genoa this summer. Once Abraham is settled in Rome, he has the attributes to be a really successful Serie A striker.
One element of Edin Dzeko’s game that Abraham doesn’t possess is that wonderful hold-up play that the Bosnian has become famed for. Abraham is much more adept at spinning the last defender and latching onto a pass. He is less likely to bring others into the play than Dzeko.
That being said, he has the height and frame of a player that could receive the ball with his back to goal and hold off defenders whilst runners such as Nicolo Zaniolo and Carles Perez dart into the channels. Jose Mourinho may look to develop this part of Abraham’s game, but he might be better served to let the Englishman play to his strength which is playing on the shoulder of the final defender.
Will Abraham succeed at Roma?
This is the sort of move that will likely take a bit of time to be able to judge. As previously mentioned, fans have to take the human element of transfers into account. Moving to a new contract during a global pandemic brings a whole world of stresses to a young player, and that can easily affect his performances on the pitch.
For €40 million though, Roma fans will be right to expect a decent goals return over the next few years. If Abraham can end his first season in Rome with double figures, that has to go down as an excellent building block for the future.
Whilst it wouldn’t be the best long-term solution, if Abraham produces impressive goalscoring form with Roma in his first two seasons, Chelsea are reportedly including a buy-back clause valid from June 2023 that will be worth €80 million. Two seasons of goals and a €40 million profit wouldn’t be too bad a deal for Roma, would it?