Didn’t know much about Italian football but it has helped me develop as player, confesses Tammy Abraham
AS Roma star Tammy Abraham has opened up about leaving Chelsea as it was a difficult decision to make but believes that playing in Italy has made him a better player and man. The forward added that he loves playing for England and that the competition only makes his call up even better.
With Chelsea signing Romelu Lukaku last summer, it saw the Blues let Tammy Abraham leave for AS Roma in a move that shocked more than a few fans and critics. However, the Englishman thrived in Italy, finishing his debut season with 27 goals across all competitions under Jose Mourinho. Not only that, Abraham netted 17 goals and 4 assists in the Serie A although it was someway from Capocannoniere winner Ciro Immobile's tally.
It saw rumours and reports indicate that Chelsea were looking at bringing Abraham back but the Englishman opted to stay in Rome and keep playing for Roma. Yet, the 24-year-old admitted that he wouldn’t have believed anyone had they told him he would be in Italy a few years ago as leaving Chelsea was rather difficult for him. But despite that, Abraham added that the move to Italy was worth the trouble as it has helped him develop “as a player and as a man”.
“If you'd told me a couple of years ago I'd be playing in Italy, I wouldn't have believed you. Leaving Chelsea was difficult, it's where I'd grown up from the age of seven. I didn't know much about Italian football but it has helped me develop as a player and as a man. I've come out of my comfort zone and don't have any regrets. I love the life and it's brought out another side to my game,” Abraham told the Daily Mail.
“At Chelsea, I was viewed purely as a goalscorer. Here, I've learned different aspects of the game. If our opponents have more of the ball, I know how to position myself defensively. You have to be more clinical finishing chances because they can be limited.”
The 24-year-old’s form has been rewarded with an England call-up for the upcoming international break and he joins former Chelsea academy star and AC Milan defender Fikayo Tomori. They’re the only two Englishman playing in Italy to make the cut this time around and Abraham admitted that “being picked” itself is a massive honour. He also revealed that it allows him the chance to learn from a star like Harry Kane and he tries to adopt what the forward does to his own game.
“Being picked in an England squad is a massive honour. The competition is so fierce, you always have that little thought: 'Am I going?' I speak to Tomori [former Chelsea team-mate now with AC Milan] and we were like little kids again when we got the call-up. We were shouting down the phone to each other, excited. We know how important it is with the World Cup so close.
“When I work with Harry, I use it as a learning curve. If it's me and him doing finishing drills in training, I look at his positioning, I try to take traits of it into my own game. He's a wonderful striker but as a player I had to be ready as well because you never know what will happen,” he added.