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Abraham’s evolution highlights why there is a starting role for him alongside Chelsea’s new stars

Chelsea fans had a complicated relationship with Tammy Abraham last season.

The striker, an academy product no less, was ushered into the first team as part of Frank Lampard’s youth revolution and after a bright start, he managed just three league goals in his last 15 appearances of the 2019/20 season.

To his credit, Abraham still came away with 15 goals from 34 games, and it underlined why he is so highly-rated by Chelsea.

There was a fear this season that chances would be limited for the England international this season.

The arrivals of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz bolstered Chelsea’s attacking options considerably and trying to fit the duo alongside Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic meant there didn’t appear a starting role for Abraham.

Before today, the 23-year-old had managed 446 competitive minutes for Chelsea and managed three goals and five assists.

The fact Abraham has more assists than goals may concern some, but it points to a striker that is developing into a well rounded modern forward.

“I’m very happy, I’ve had numerous conversations with Tammy because I have a good relationship with him,” said Lampard.

“When we brought in players in attacking areas we brought in players who are versatile in their nature, Timo playing on the left for instance. The qualities Tammy can bring to the team are never lost on me.

“I know what he can bring when he’s at his best. In his last two games, today and against Burnley, we saw him at his best.”

There was evidence of Abraham’s evolution to a complete forward as early as the third minute against Sheffield United on Saturday. He brought the ball out of the sky on his chest before laying it off and racing into the box.

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He then tried to flick a cross past Aaron Ramsdale but didn’t make enough contact. The ball ended up at the feet of Ben Chilwell, and only an impressive stop on the line from Ramsdale kept the scores level.

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