Tammy Abraham says the striker role at Chelsea can be a “lonely” place after he and Romelu Lukaku both moved to Serie A to find their top form.
Roma star Abraham rose through the ranks at Stamford Bridge and discovered his top form under Frank Lampard. But, after Lampard’s sacking, the Englishman struggled to maintain that form under Thomas Tuchel.
And he subsequently left for Rome last summer to work under former Blues boss Jose Mourinho.
This summer, Lukaku also left Chelsea after struggling in his one season back at the west London club. Both players have since hit their stride again since making the move across Europe.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, England World Cup hopeful Abraham opened up on a chat with Lukaku about the Chelsea striker role.
“I remember Lukaku saying at Inter Milan he is facing the goal more compared to Chelsea, when it is more back to the goal and linking up,” the 24-year-old said.
“It made me think back and compare it to my style of play now.
“The midfield and defenders are so vital for Chelsea, it is a lonely job up front and can be difficult.
“But I don’t think it’s true to say there is a curse of No9s, there will be different reasons for each striker, and it’s an honour to play for that club.”
Tammy Abraham makes Aubameyang, Chelsea prediction
With Abraham and Lukaku leaving Chelsea in successive summers, the Blues signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Former Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel reunited with his ex-Borussia Dortmund star – until the manager got the sack.
It is now up to Graham Potter to get the best out of the Premier League veteran, who starred for Arsenal before a move to Barcelona.
Abraham added: “I had some moments at Chelsea where I was called a flop and told to ‘Get out!’
“And if I scored, they were calling me King Drogba. It’s impossible to emulate him fully but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is wearing the No. 9 now, I wish him all the best and hope he gets a run.”
Chelsea have enjoyed mixed form this season, but the inconsistency of last season is still in their game.
While wins over Everton and Leicester showed their determination and threat up front, a 3-0 defeat to Leeds United and a 2-1 loss at Southampton showed a soft underbelly.
Tuchel admitted that Chelsea have a weak centre, but he did not get the chance to turn the situation round.
Blues need more goals up front
Abraham and Lukaku had their moments in Chelsea’s attack without ever really proving regular scorers and match-winners too much.
It is now up to Aubameyang to make it third time lucky for Chelsea strikers.
The Gabon international scored 92 goals in 163 matches for Arsenal and 68 in the Premier League.
Fellow summer signing Raheem Sterling has hit the ground running with four goals. Although, he is not the dominant centre-forward and aerial threat that Chelsea also wanted to add.
That man can be Aubameyang, but given the struggles of Chelsea’s previous strikers, he has a big job on his hands to truly prove himself.