Tammy Abraham – beyond even Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori – might emerge as the most potent symbol of Chelsea’s willingness to finally trust their talented young players. Under their aptly youthful new head coach Frank Lampard, the club is attempting to rebuild following the departure of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid. Lampard’s consistent selection of Abraham is in stark contrast to previous regimes, which largely overlooked the young striker – even when Alvaro Morata was struggling to impress, and neither Olivier Giroud nor Gonzalo Higuaín appeared suitable long-term successors to Diego Costa.
Since the departure of Didier Drogba, perhaps Costa alone proved capable of fulfilling such a demanding club’s expectations of their leading striker. Hernan Crespo, Andriy Shevchenko, Fernando Torres each appeared suitable successors to Drogba – and, in Morata’s case, to Costa – but despite proving themselves strikers of potentially the highest calibre elsewhere, they all struggled in west London.
Even if Chelsea’s transfer ban has significantly improved Abraham’s chances of selection, he is regardless still competing with Giroud and Michy Batshuayi – proven internationals – to be their leading striker, and has so far succeeded to the extent that Gareth Southgate has already made him a full England international. His progress is such that he is expected to be rewarded with a place in the England squad for the 2020 European Championships – where he is likely to be joined by some of his similarly promising Chelsea teammates.