Tammy Abraham is glad he did not take the “easy option” by staying at Chelsea and is grateful for the trust put in him by Jose Mourinho since making the switch to Roma.
The 24-year-old joined Roma in a €40million (£34m) deal two months ago after struggling for playing time upon Thomas Tuchel’s arrival at Stamford Bridge in January.
He has two goals and two assists from his first seven games with the Serie A side and has been hailed for embracing life in a new country, instantly making him a fan favourite.
Abraham had been on Chelsea’s books since 2004, but he made just 82 appearances between his senior debut in May 2016 and his departure this August.
And after three separate spells out on loan, the England international was persuaded to leave west London on a permanent basis by ex-Chelsea boss Mourinho.
“I had different options,” Abraham said. “So many clubs I was speaking to at the time.
“I spoke to Jose. He had a goal. I could see where he wanted Roma to go, and see where he wants to take them and I wanted to be part of the process.
“He really put his trust in me so he was a big impact on the reason why I chose Roma.
“I picked up the phone and he was like, ‘Do you want to enjoy some sun or stay in the rain?’
“I have learned so much tactically – as much as I have in my entire lifetime. It is good. You need to learn off different managers. Right now, I am learning a lot.”
— Tammy Abraham (@tammyabraham) October 3, 2021
Abraham was given a run in the Chelsea side in the first half of last season, scoring 11 goals in 25 games up until Tuchel’s appointment on January 26.
The former Aston Villa loanee was used only seven times by Tuchel, however, adding one more goal to his tally to finish as joint-top scorer alongside Timo Werner (12 each).
Reflecting on the second half of 2020-21, Abraham said: “At first it’s quite tough to deal with.
“You’ve gone from playing regularly to not being in the mix and not even making the bench sometimes. I got to a point 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 that strengthened my mindset. I was with the team whenever they needed me.
“Players like Mason Mount, Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi – the players younger than me – I kind of had to lift them and be their support, help them and encourage them.
“I had an ambition and a goal that I set myself and it was to go out there and be the best I can be, to prove to everyone my true abilities.
“The easy option would’ve been to stick around and sit down. Chelsea’s a massive club, they will compete and try to win trophies, so the easy option would’ve been to do that.
“I realised that I needed to go out and prove myself. I took a decision and it was the right one.”
— Jesse Lingard (@JesseLingard) September 30, 2021
Abraham was a late addition to the England squad this week for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers with Andorra and Hungary.
Jesse Lingard is another who is back in Gareth Southgate’s plans after being overlooked for Euro 2020 squad selection, and the Manchester United attacker is motivated to hold down his place in the side.
“It gives you more hunger and motivation to be playing in the biggest of tournaments and games,” he said when asked about missing out on England’s run to the European Championship final.
“It’s always hard. Considering where I was for a period of time, not playing as much and not in the England squad, to get into the 33-man squad shows what you can do with hard work and belief.
“I was disappointed to miss out but I was still there supporting the boys through thick and thin. “They had a great chance after getting into the final, but we have to move on quickly and prepare for the new season.”
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