Tammy Abraham has explained why he decided to leave Chelsea this summer, admitting that he did not understand why Thomas Tuchel was not picking him last season.
Abraham endured a frustrating 2020/21 campaign, making just a handful of appearances after Frank Lampard was sacked in January. This kick-started a summer of speculation over his future where he was linked with the likes of Arsenal, Aston Villa and Tottenham.
However, in the end, he sealed a move to Roma – linking up with former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
“It was tough,” he told a press conference (via The Guardian). “I didn’t really understand it back then. I was scoring goals, I came off the back of a hat-trick and, of course, when a new manager comes in things change.
“I think things like this need to happen to you for you to really realise what the game’s about. You can’t always be on the up. You need some downs sometimes and those downs have really lifted me and pushed me to be hungry for more.”
He added: “I got to a point [at Chelsea] where I had to sit down and talk to myself. I was going out to train and I was doing it for me. I was going to train to better myself because it’s easy to throw a strop, to be angry around the place, to be a bad egg. For me, it was the opposite. I learned about myself and I think that strengthened my mindset.”
Abraham’s decision to join Roma followed a recent trend of English players trying their luck abroad. Jadon Sancho, Fikayo Tomori, Noni Madueke and Jude Bellingham are just some of his contemporaries who have previously adopted a similar approach.
“My mindset was that I wanted to be in the Premier League and I wanted to stay here – it was home,” Abraham recalled.
However, a phone call with Mourinho, in which he asked: “‘Do you want to enjoy some sun or stay in the rain?’” played a key role in convincing him to make the plunge.
“The easy option would’ve been to stick around and sit down at Chelsea,” he continued.
“I realised I needed to go out and prove myself. Of course, there were nerves and changing countries is always a brave thing to do. But I’d recommend it to young English players. I’d say not to be scared. You learn about yourself. It’s tough but I’m getting used to it. I’ve gone to Rome and it’s time to show myself again.”
It has proved to be an inspired decision with Abraham registering four goals and three assists in his opening 10 games for Roma, making him an instant hit with the fans.