It didn’t take Tammy Abraham long to prove his worth to his new team. Handed a Roma debut against Fiorentina last month having made the move to Italy just a matter of days beforehand, the Englishman contributed an excellent assist after 26 minutes. And then another after 64 minutes.
Fiorentina struggled to cope with Abraham’s strong running and aerial threat. The 23-year-old would have netted a goal of his own had the crossbar been an inch or two lower, crashing a header against the woodwork. And Abraham backed this up with a similarly impressive display against Salernitan in his second Serie A appearance, in which he did score.
“There is always a small doubt for a player who is born and raised in England,” Jose Mourinho, who personally pushed for the signing of Abraham from Chelsea this summer, said of his new centre forward. “They don't leave London so much and it’s not easy to adapt. But my doubt has already passed. Tammy is already perfectly integrated with the team and friends in Roma.”
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Indeed, Abraham already looks the part in The Eternal City. His record of one goal in the four games he has played for Roma so far this season doesn’t quite reflect his profound contribution, with the 23-year-old already proving himself the perfect figure to lead the line for Mourinho’s team.
The start Abraham has made at the Stadio Olimpico has only emboldened those who believed he should have been kept around by Chelsea. Under Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge, Abraham was made an important figure. He scored 15 Premier League goals in the 2019/20 Premier League season and forced his way into the England squad.
While Abraham had his imperfections, the rapid development in his game suggested Chelsea had a special talent on their hands only for that talent to be marginalised by the signing of Timo Werner to play in his position. Then Lampard left to be replaced by Thomas Tuchel and the marginalisation became exile.
In an ideal world for Abraham, he would still be at Chelsea, the club he’d played for since under-eight level. However, the 23-year-old was wise to recognise the situation he found himself in at Stamford Bridge and in Roma he looks to have found a club ready to embrace him.
And in Mourinho, Abraham seemingly has a manager willing to build around him as the replacement for Edin Dzeko, who departed the Stadio Olimpico for Inter as the replacement for Romelu Lukaku whose transfer to Chelsea effectively forced out Abraham. Dzeko never offered the Giallorossi as much as Abraham, though.
Roma, Serie A 2021-22
Image credit: Getty Images
Dzeko might have been an attacking focal point, but he was no ball carrier like Abraham is. Only Carles Perez (1.0), Rick Karsdorp (1.3) and Lorenzo Pellegrini (1.3) have averaged more dribbles per game for Roma this season than Abraham (0.7). Not only this, the Englishman is averaging an impressive 1.7 key passes per match.
With Abraham up front, Pellegrini in behind and Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Nicolo Zaniolo on the flanks, Roma could have the best-balanced attacking unit in Serie A this season. Without Abraham to lead the line, though, Mourinho’s team might have lacked purpose. His addition was crucial to the whole project.
Roma will start their Europa Conference League campaign at home to CSKA Sofia on Thursday night with genuine momentum behind them. They are one of three teams (along with AC Milan and Napoli) to still have a 100% record in Serie A after three fixtures with last weekend’s stoppage time win over Sassuolo only adding to the sense that Mourinho’s team are a force to be reckoned with. Abraham should be reckoned with more than most.
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