Tammy Abraham knows how this story ends. Unless there is an unexpected turn of events, his Chelsea career will come to a close this summer.
It will be wrench, of course. He has been a Blue since the age of seven, emerging from their academy to wear the club’s coveted No 9 shirt. But he cannot suffer another season like this.
Finding a new club won’t be a problem; there are already a host of suitors in the Premier League and abroad lining up to take Abraham next season.
Tammy Abraham is set to leave Chelsea after falling out of favour under boss Thomas Tuchel
West Ham and Leicester are among those interested, and Sportsmail is assured there are numerous others.
Chelsea value Abraham at £40million, though you would imagine there won’t be widespread acceptance of that lofty price-tag given his mysterious fall.
Once the club’s first-choice centre forward, now Abraham does not even make the bench.
This situation would have been unimaginable six months ago. Abraham was playing regularly under Frank Lampard, scoring 11 goals prior to the manager’s sacking in January.
He remains Chelsea’s joint top goalscorer — despite playing a meagre 230 minutes under Thomas Tuchel. That probably says more about the players selected ahead of Abraham.
Timo Werner is level with the 23-year-old in the goal charts — but he has played in 50 games this season. Abraham has played 32 games — 16 of those as substitute.
The forward was the club’s top striker but has struggled to make the bench under the German
Kai Havertz, signed primarily as an attacking midfielder, has recently been picked ahead of Abraham and Olivier Giroud as Chelsea’s lone centre forward.
The German has scored eight goals in 43 appearances so far this season.
Looking at the statistics, Abraham would be well within his rights to feel aggrieved about being discarded by Tuchel.
Of course, making the case for Abraham being given more game time based purely on numbers is to ignore the big picture.
Tuchel sees him in training every day and selects his team based on what he witnesses and his own footballing philosophy. And, let’s face it, the Chelsea manager has barely put a foot a wrong since his appointment as Lampard’s successor.
The ankle injury Abraham suffered in March has not helped, either. Yet Tuchel’s decision to often omit the forward from his match-day squad altogether appears peculiar — particularly when those ahead of him are not necessarily firing on all cylinders.
Abraham was the FA Cup’s joint top goalscorer this season — yet he was not even named on the bench for the semi-final against Manchester City or last week’s final defeat by Leicester.
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Tuchel’s treatment of the England forward has raised a few eyebrows at the London club
His treatment has raised a few eyebrows at Chelsea. There is an acknowledgement that Tuchel simply doesn’t fancy Abraham. The player himself has accepted as much.
But to abandon a player who was the club’s leading scorer last season and remains top of Chelsea’s goal charts this term has led to a degree of bewilderment.
In explaining his decision to axe Abraham from the squad for the weekend loss to Leicester, Tuchel said: ‘I decided to start Timo Werner in the No 9 role and we had Kai Havertz and Olivier Giroud on the bench.
‘So we decided not to have three No 9s on the bench. This is it, it’s never personal.’
There is said to have been no fall-out between manager and player. Tuchel’s stance is simply a matter of preference.
If there had been a bust-up, this situation may have been easier for the striker to swallow.
Either way, Abraham must accept it. He is a bubbly and infectious character. He has tried not to allow his predicament to eat away at him.
He made a point of consoling his colleagues following Saturday’s Wembley loss, when it would have been easier to keep himself to himself following the disappointment of another omission.
He remains Chelsea’s joint top goalscorer — despite playing only 230 minutes under Tuchel
But that isn’t in his character. He is Chelsea through and through — but it is clear he won’t be for much longer.
Abraham has kept his counsel; it is not in his nature to throw his toys out of the pram. His girlfriend Leah Monroe’s now deleted Instagram post criticising Tuchel for leaving the striker out of the FA Cup final squad is known to have caused some embarrassment.
He has been at pains to maintain his professionalism during the most testing period of his career.
Abraham has shown in the past that he is not shy of hard graft — his willingness to drop down the divisions on loan is testament to the fact he is willing to get his hands dirty.
‘Tammy lives for football, he lives for training and playing. He’s obsessive about scoring goals,’ said one insider.
But you get the impression that Abraham has reached the point of no return at Chelsea.
Just last season, England manager Gareth Southgate had earmarked Abraham as Harry Kane’s understudy for the European Championship.
Unless there is a freak spate of injuries between now and Tuesday, when Southgate reveals his 26-man party, Abraham will not be included.
And, sad to say, he has reconciled himself to that.
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