OPINION: Abraham finally making his mark as one of England’s elite

With Tammy Abraham currently at the top of the pile in terms of Premier League scorers with eight goals in seven, his blistering Chelsea form has certainly made it very easy to forget his tepid loan spell with Swansea during the 2016/17 season, where he scored just five times as the Welsh club were relegated from the top flight.

But how has the Camberwell-born forward developed his game since his bit-part spell at the Swans?

An area outside of Abraham’s impressive scoring run which has seen a marked improvement from his last Premier League spell is his ability to retain the ball and bring others into play. According to Understat, Abraham has made 1.38 key passes per 90 minutes this season, which translates into 0.22xA (expected assists) per game. At Swansea, he made just 0.63 key passes / game, which equated to just 0.08xA / game.

Chelsea’s number nine isn’t a conventional target man as you might expect, considering his 6’ 2” frame. Abraham has impressive speed and ball control, which saw him shunted out wide perhaps too often by Swansea – who were trying to accommodate Wilfried Bony and Jordan Ayew in their attack.

A great example of Abraham’s competence when taking on players is the goal which saw him claim his first Premier League hat trick against Wolves. Using his frame, the ex-Aston Villa loanee gave himself a yard of space before jetting past Conor Coady and rifling home.

Abraham is having almost twice the shots per game that he had in Wales (3.99Sh90 vs 2.22 Sh90), which suggests his attacking movement and predatory instinct has developed. This is exemplified by some of the goals we have seen Abraham score – with his peeling front post run and header against Wolves a highlight.

Looking at expected goals is also a good metric of the youngster’s development, with Abraham actually underscoring his xG while at Swansea – 6.16xG vs 5 AG. This season, he has outscored his xG, scoring 8 goals (4.68xG).

With Abraham recently celebrating his 22nd birthday with his first Champions League goal against LOSC Lille, it seems certain that the academy product will be a mainstay in Frank Lampard’s youthful side, and go from strength to strength under a manager who truly believes in youth – even if he doesn’t have a choice. Abraham will also surely have one eye on a starting berth at next year’s European Championships – with England having the opportunity to win the tournament on home soil.

It may seem a little far-fetched to dethrone Harry Kane as England’s number nine, but considering the Spurs man’s faltering start – the sky’s the limit.

Leave a Comment