If Timo Werner’s signing from RB Leipzig was an apparent message to Tammy Abraham that he must hit another level if he is to be the long-term first choice at Chelsea, the young striker has not yet responded.
When the £47million move for the Germany international was completed last month, Frank Lampard said that he had spoken to Abraham and offered him a reminder of what is expected of a Chelsea striker.
“I’ve spoken to Tammy before about the idea of competition and I don’t feel the need to have to address every player if a player comes that might contest a position at a club like Chelsea because that’s what its about,” the head coach said a fortnight ago.
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“It has been about that in its most successful years in the Roman Abramovich era. And Tammy obviously had a very good season for us this season. He has to sustain and improve on that because at Chelsea we have demands.
“I am happy to have options and we have options in forward areas and we must have competition for places. So I am pleased with the idea of that.”
Now there seems a significant chance, after disappointing from the start in the past two games, that Abraham will again be replaced by Olivier Giroud for Saturday night’s game at home to Watford.
In those two starts, the defeat to West Ham and FA Cup win away to Leicester, Abraham had one off-target attempt.
Although he did perform well coming off the bench in last Thursday’s 2-1 win over Manchester City, the performance level since then has just not been good enough.
It was also telling that the enduring image of his showing at the London Stadium on Wednesday evening was his double mistake for Tomas Soucek’s first-half equaliser.
Sure, Cesar Azpilicueta and Kepa Arrizabalaga must accept plenty of blame too. But why was Abraham not picking anyone up in the first place? Instead he was caught somewhere between the goal-line and the…