Tammy Abraham insists it was ‘right time’ to leave Chelsea in 2021 and has opened up on his future amid speculation of a Premier League return.
Abraham signed for Roma from Chelsea in a £34m deal two seasons ago and has since scored 36 goals in 102 appearances for the Italian side.
The forward has opened up on his decision to move abroad and the challenges of adapting to a new division.
“It was an interesting experience, certainly different from life at home,” he told SMW. “Of course, I had to adapt quickly and sometimes I miss hearing the English language. It is good to learn different cultures and languages, to enjoy a new lifestyle.
“I should probably know more than I do but it’s going well. The fans and people at the club made me feel at home from the first day I arrived. The welcome was supposed to be at a private airport, but there were too many fans there: they were chanting my name, they were very happy to see me.
“From that moment I knew it was the right place for me. They are very passionate and want the team to do well, they support you even if you don’t do well. I think they could see how much effort I put into the game, and I think that’s why they appreciate me, my hunger and my desire to win.
“I haven’t been here long, moving to Rome is something I will look back on and say I had a great time in my life being in a different part of the world and discovering new things. It’s been incredible, sometimes tough, but so far fun.”
Abraham impressed as Roma won the Europa Conference League last season and scored 27 goals in all competitions during his debut season for Jose Mourinho’s side.
The 25-year-old has been unable to replicate that return during the current campaign and has been linked with a return to the Premier League as he looks to earn a regular place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
“Winning a European trophy in my first year at Roma was incredible, to be honest I don’t think anyone expected it,” Abraham said.
“From the moment I arrived, I said I wanted to win a trophy with Roma, it hadn’t happened for many years and at that point many people didn’t believe it was possible anymore.
“I think coming here gave strength to the guys, they saw how hungry I was. Even in training I always want to win, I always want the best for my team and for myself.”
💬 “We know we wanted to win at home and give a good performance for our amazing fans.”
🎙️ The thoughts of Tammy Abraham after yesterday’s semi-final first leg victory! 💪#ASRoma #UEL #RomaBayer pic.twitter.com/APk6SCYcGn
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) May 12, 2023
Abraham opened up on his decision to leave Chelsea after coming through the academy system in west London and believes it was the right time to move on.
“Just before I left Chelsea, [Fikayo] Tomori went to Milan and we talked a lot. I remember the phone calls, neither of us could believe what was happening. We had been at Chelsea for our whole lives and at one moment we were leaving.
“Everything I knew about Chelsea apart from a few loan transfers, but I still think that was the right time to leave. I was ready to take a step forward in my career. I didn’t want to be considered a youngster or a footballer who came from the Academy, for me it was time to spread my wings.
“I still talk to many Chelsea players, [Reece] James always tells me to come back…. We grew up together as a group and have known each other for years. Players like [Mason] Mount, [Declan] Rice and [Eddie] Nketiah grew up with me in the same environment.
“We’ve played tournaments, travelled together – it’s special to see them grow and how far we’ve come. We took different paths, but we still share those memories.”
Aston Villa have been linked with signing Abraham, who spent a successful season on loan with the club in 2018/19. The England international insists his immediate focus is on his personal life and ending the season strongly with Roma, who face Bayer Leverkusen in their Europa League semi-final second leg on Thursday.
“I’m expecting a baby and that’s the most important thing, then I’ll think about where to go this summer, America is always in my head but we’ll probably choose more of a family-friendly place for the baby to come.
“This could be the best year of my life so far and I want to make it a reality. It would be great to win something again with Roma and when my son is born who knows what the future will hold.”
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