Roma manager Jose Mourinho admits the ambition of Tammy Abraham was one of the main reasons why he decided to sign the striker this summer.
Abraham, 23, always looked like leaving Stamford Bridge after slipping down the pecking order under Thomas Tuchel. And Romelu Lukaku’s arrival sounded the death knell for the Londoner. Many clubs were linked, with West Ham United, Aston Villa and Arsenal showing an interest.
But it is the Giallorossi who have landed the England star for €40m. Abraham will replace the departed Edin Dzeko at the Stadio Olimpico.
Dzeko, 35, scored 119 goals in 260 appearances for the Eternal City outfit but has now joined Inter. Mourinho was delighted that his new employers managed to secure a talented replacement for the Bosnian.
“In an incredibly difficult market and in a financial situation that is difficult for every, or more precisely, almost every club, having the willingness, the ambition, the respect for the fans and reacting in this way after losing Dzeko and bringing in Tammy Abraham was a real coup,” he told the club’s official website.
Mourinho was in charge of Chelsea while Abraham was a youth player. The man with six England caps bagged 30 goals in all competitions for the west Londoners.
And the Portuguese tactician feels he understands what makes the forward tick.
“He’s never played for me because he was a 14, 15 and 16-year-old boy when I was at Chelsea, but I know him very well,” he added.
Abraham ‘wants England place back’
Abraham enjoyed success with Chelsea but also while on loan at Aston Villa. He managed 25 Championship goals during the 2018-19 campaign and took that into the next season with the Blues.
And he is looking forward to contributing to further success in Rome.
“Roma is a club that deserves to be fighting for titles and trophies,” he said. “I’ve had the experience of winning major trophies and I want to be in those competitions again.
“So I want to help this team to achieve that and get to the level where Roma should be.”
Abraham could have stayed in England, with plenty of Premier League interest. And Mourinho believes taking the decision to uproot to a foreign country proves the drive the youngster has.
“I know him as a player, a person and in terms of his mentality. I know how he made the decision to leave the Premier League, which is always tough for an English player,” he continued.
“That tells me so much about him because when you leave the Premier League, you do so because you’re ambitious.
“You leave because you want to get back into your national team, because you want to play at the World Cup, because you want success outside of England, where not that many English players have had brilliant careers.”