Thomas Tuchel has insisted that Tammy Abraham’s future is in his own hands and says he understands the Chelsea forward’s desire for regular first-team football.
Abraham has been linked with an exit from the west London side throughout the summer and is a reported transfer target for several Premier League rivals, whilst Roma are understood to have agreed a £34m deal with Chelsea as the player weighs up a potential move to Italy.
The 23-year-old finished as Chelsea’s joint-leading scorer with 12 goals in all competitions last season, but struggled for opportunities following the arrival of Tuchel as head coach in January.
Tuchel admits he understands Abraham’s desire for more minutes following a frustrating spell on the sidelines and says the decision on the player’s future is in his own hands.
“He was clearly not happy with the last half a year,” Tuchel said at a press conference ahead of the UEFA Super Cup clash against Villarreal.
“Maybe he has reason not to be happy and maybe it was also my fault, not to push him and trust him on the same level I trusted other players.
“I can absolutely understand that he wants more minutes so that decision will be: how do we plan, what are Tammy’s plans, does he fight his way back into the team from the position where he ended last season or does he want to change club to have a better chance to be a regular starter, which I can completely understand?
“This is the situation with him, quite a normal situation until the window closes. Tammy is one of these players where we constantly evaluate the situation and adapt to the needs.”
Abraham’s pathway to first-team football is set to be blocked further by the impending arrival of Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan, with the Blues having agreed a club record £97.5m deal to re-sign the Belgium international.
Lukaku is edging closer to finalising his record-breaking move to Stamford Bridge, though Tuchel refused to discuss the signing of the star until a deal is completed and praised the overall strength of his squad ahead of the new season.
“It is not a preparation match, it is our first competitive match,” Tuchel said. “It is clearly not the moment for personnel discussions about our squad. As you know I have a lot of trust in the existing squad and we have proved already we can be a strong side.
“I have said many times that we have spoken about our ideas to improve the squad, which is not easy. With Olivier Giroud having left the club and having had an important role in the last few years, we miss a certain profile of attacker. We need to wait and see what is possible or not possible but we are not hectic, we are not in a panic. I will not talk about it until the moment we have something to announce.
“I am very happy with the potential and the actual performance of the group. They played with a fantastic spirit and mentality for half a year. I always said I was happy starting the next season with the same group again. We had some ideas, we discussed them because we have fantastic scouting and a very clear structure in the club.
“We always try to improve but we believe in development of our players. There is nothing to worry about. Other clubs signed heavily this summer, which is their right and is good for the league; it is a huge challenge to compete with them but football is a team sport and we have a strong squad in which we believe.”