Andy who? Chelsea must recall Tammy Abraham
It’s not a joke, Chelsea did indeed enquire about the possibility of bringing Andy Carroll to Stamford Bridge on loan. Antonio Conte is pressing the panic button. He doesn't need to, though.
Chelsea consistently top the chart for clubs with the most players out on loan. This season, the Blues have 33 players representing other teams. So it’s bizarre that when they find themselves in a predicament, as now with strikers, they look outwards rather than inwards.
Given his team would be involved in more competitions, Antonio Conte made the fundamental error of starting a season with only two recognized centre-forwards. Even if both strikers are worth a combined £93 million, it wasn't a risk worth taking. The mistake has since blown up in the Italians face.
Although both Alvaro Morata and Michy Batshuayi started the season brightly, goals have become a scarce commodity for the pair. Perhaps the situation would be different if they’d stayed injury-free or avoided needless suspensions.
Conte needs a new makeshift number nine. He’s looking for a solution in all the wrong places, though. When names such as Peter Crouch, a Premier League veteran at 36, and Andy Carroll, an injury-prone 29-year-old, are being mentioned in the same breath as Chelsea football club, one wonders just how desperate things have become.
Carroll is struggling to compete this term due to injury. When he has taken to the field, the Englishman has managed only two strikes in 14 Premier League games. West Ham United had the temerity to demand £20 million for him, but the Blues wanted a six-month loan deal.
Why Chelsea need Abraham
Having one of the best English youth prospects out on loan in South Wales is a major loss for Chelsea. Despite being the Championship's second highest scorer last season, Tammy Abraham wasn’t given the opportunity to prove himself with his parent club.
Abraham hasn’t set the world alight at Swansea this season, yet he’s still bettered Andy Carroll. The Swans have been poor in attack, registering a meagre 14 Premier League goals in 24 matches. Abraham has 28% of those goals.
Batshuayi, meanwhile, has two Premier League goals in 12 games this campaign. Abraham doubles that figure. Regardless, the English striker is a better prospect than the Belgian, all day long.
Since scoring four of Swansea’s first seven goals, Abraham has been slowed down by injuries. He suffered a back problem before the end of November and a hip injury in the new year, which has caused him to miss the last five games. Good news for the Swans though, and potentially Chelsea, the forward is back in training. He could line up against Liverpool on Monday night.
Abraham, 20, has already earned an England cap. The selection for international duty proves his talent. Rather than look elsewhere, Chelsea should take pride in having such a gifted player.
Andreas Christensen’s success this season is a lesson for the reigning Premier League champions. Give players opportunities to shine instead of sending them out on loan. Rio Ferdinand's comments were correct: Batshuayi, who cost £33 million, isn’t doing anything Dominic Solanke or Abraham couldn't. Sadly for the Blues, though Solanke is now out of reach having moved permanently to Liverpool last summer. Chelsea must ensure history doesn't repeat with Tammy Abraham.