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Abraham adding new dimension to Chelsea attack

Adrian Clarke 15 Oct 2019
Tammy Abraham

Adrian Clarke analyses candidates for TAG Heuer Young Player of the Season award and says Blues striker belongs at highest level

With the announcement of the TAG Heuer Young Player of the Season award, Adrian Clarke looks at eligible players, aged 23 or under, who have enjoyed a bright start to the season.

Tammy Abraham (Chelsea)

The 22-year-old striker has made a sensational start to the campaign, scoring eight times at a rate of a goal every 72 minutes.  

Team-mates Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Callum Hudson-Odoi have also made fabulous contributions since Frank Lampard took over as head coach and could be candidates for the new award, too. But Abraham's form has stood out in particular.

Offering vibrancy and power at the spearhead of the Chelsea attack, Abraham has proved he belongs at the highest level. 

Abraham's numbers
2019/20 Total 
Total shots (exc. blocks) 23
Shots on target 15
Goals 8
Conversion rate 34.8%
Mins/goal 72

At times last season Chelsea struggled for penetration at the top of the pitch, with Olivier Giroud and Gonzalo Higuain both preferring to come short for the ball.

But Abraham's dynamic style has inspired a positive change. Four of his Premier League goals in 2019/20 have come from bursts of pace. 

Last time out, at Southampton, he ran off the shoulder of his marker to latch on to Hudson-Odoi's long pass before lobbing goalkeeper Angus Gunn.

In previous outings, Abraham sprinted in behind Sheffield United's back three to find the net, beat Conor Coady in a 1v1 at Wolverhampton Wanderers, and scored in similar style on the break at Norwich City.

His willingness to make a run that offers midfielders a forward pass has helped to transform Chelsea's approach, and he and the team are benefiting.

Chelsea are the third-highest scorers in the league, with 18 goals.

Last season they ranked sixth for goals scored.

How Chelsea forwards compare
  Higuain (18/19) Giroud (18/19) Abraham (19/20)
Minutes  1092 833 576
Goals 5 2 8
Shots 27 25 23
Shots on target 15 10 15

Abraham's positioning is impressive.

While a lot of forwards make countless runs into the wide channels, he intelligently conserves his energy.

He generally stays within the width of the penalty box, linking play before bursting into life in the final third.

This avoidance of the flanks means he is almost always in the box when his team-mates are creating opportunities.

Central figure

That approach has helped him score with four poacher's goals in his opening matches.

He has reacted quickly in the middle of the box and finished clinically when half-chances have come against Sheffield United, Wolves and Norwich.

After a string of high-calibre performances, his call-up to the England squad has been fully deserved.

Also in this series

Part 2: Alexander-Arnold growing in influence for Liverpool
Part 3: Guendouzi fast becoming Arsenal's leader
Part 4: Maddison the rising star in Leicester's flying start

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