Thomas Tuchel on Antonio Rudiger leaving Chelsea
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Tammy Abraham has admitted his final months at Chelsea were ‘a very low point’ in his career and that he ‘didn’t understand’ why Thomas Tuchel continued to snub him. The 24-year-old left his boyhood club last summer after the Blues splashed a club record £100million to re-sign Romelu Lukaku, joining AS Roma in a £34m deal.
And he has enjoyed a record-breaking debut campaign in Italy, scoring 24 goals in all competitions under Jose Mourinho. Last month, he broke Gabriel Batistuta’s record (21) for most goals scored in a maiden season at Roma.
And ahead of Thursday’s Europa Conference League semi-final against Leicester City, Abraham has opened up on the period leading up to his Chelsea exit. The England international has explained how the lengths he went to earn a chance led to mental frustrations when Tuchel continued to overlook him last season.
He told The Athletic: “I’ll admit it was a very low point in my career. It did mess with me mentally for a bit. It got to a point towards the back end of the season where I was stropping. I was annoyed because I was working hard in training, and I wasn’t getting the chance.
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“I was doing the best I could, getting in early and finishing late, training drills, finishing drills, and still wasn’t getting a look in. I could understand if I wasn’t in great form or wasn’t training well or had a bad attitude. I just didn’t understand. I was working so hard. I was having players coming up to me saying, ‘You were unbelievable today in training’. That was the hardest part.”
And Abraham admitted that Mohamed Salah, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku inspired him to take the plunge and leave Chelsea for an overseas club. Since departing Stamford Bridge, all three have flourished among the best in their respective positions, and the Roma striker plans to develop the same way.
“From the first day I set foot here [at Roma], that was my goal [making a name for myself],” Abraham added. “I’ve seen the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Mo Salah, and Lukaku leave Chelsea and spread their wings. They’re the best players in the world.
“For me, it’s about doing the same thing and even if it’s not the Premier League, it’s about going out and learning a different culture and experiencing different things. It’s about saying, ‘You know what? This is my time’.”
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