Tammy Abraham of Roma reveals how he dumps London for Italy

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‘Do you want to enjoy some sun or stay in the rain?’ This is the question Tammy Abraham said Jose Mourinho asked him that took him away from Chelsea to Roma.

At the point the Portuguese tactician had this conversation with Tammy Abraham, the 24-year-old English striker was at his lowest in terms of having regular game time.

Abraham who was the real deal for Chelsea in the 2019-2020 season under the then coach of the club, Frank Lampard, became a shadow of his former self under coach Thomas Tuchel.

The England international was second in coach Tuchel pecking order behind Timo Werner. Despite that, coach Tuchel decided to bring in Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan.

The arrival of Lukaku meant that Tammy Abraham would be a third-choice striker at Chelsea, a role the England international was not ready to take.

His lack of game time at Chelsea affected the footballer so badly that the head coach of Three Lions of England, Gareth Southgate, did not invite him for Euro 2020 and was not considered for subsequent international matches.

Hence, ahead of the 2021-2022 season, many clubs especially in the Premier League began to seek his services.

In the midst of that, Jose Mourinho who was planning for his first season at Roma got interested in the Nigerian-born British striker. The Portuguese coach was able to win Abraham’s heart.

Roma paid Chelsea 44 million dollars for the services of the striker and offered Abraham a 5-year deal on August 17, 2021.

Since then, Tammy Abraham has made 10 appearances in which he has scored 4 goals and provided 3 assists in all competitions.

His rejuvenated career has forced coach Gareth Southgate to reinvite him into the national team ahead of the October FIFA international break.

Abraham was asked in an interview why he chose to go to Italy, he said: “Why Italy? Good question. I had different options. So many clubs I was speaking to at the time. Italy came and I spoke to Jose. He had a goal.

“I could see where he wanted Roma to go and see where he wants to take them and I wanted to be part of the process. He put his trust in me so he was a big impact on the reason why I chose Roma.”

On his interaction with Mourinho, before he made the switch, Abraham said: “The first thing he said to me was when I picked up the phone he was like ‘do you want to enjoy some sun or stay in the rain?’ I laughed”.

“I think at first I did not think much of it when we were speaking. I think my mindset was that I wanted to be in the Premier League and I wanted to stay here.

“I feel like it was home, being around London, being around England. It was home. And I think I had to open my wings a bit and make a choice and I chose Italy and would not change it.

“I have learned so much tactically – as much as I have in my entire lifetime. It is good. You need to learn off different managers. Right now I am learning a lot.”

Abraham added that the easy choice for him would have been to stay at Chelsea and sit on the bench.

“Chelsea’s a massive club, they will compete and try to win trophies so the easy option would’ve been to do that”, he added.

“I realized that I needed to go out and prove myself, I needed to play some games. I took a decision and it was the right one.

“I think at first it’s quite tough to deal with. You’ve gone from playing regularly to not being in the mix and not even making the bench sometimes. I got to a point where I had to sit down and talk to myself. I was going out to train and I was doing it for me.

“I was going to train to better myself because it’s easy to throw a strop, to be angry around the place, to be a bad egg.

“For me, it was the opposite. I learned about myself and I think that strengthened my mindset. I was with the team whenever they needed me.

“Players like Mason (Mount), Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi – the players that are younger than me, I kind of had to lift them and be their support, help them and encourage them.

“At the end of the day, we won trophies as a team so I have to thank them for that.”

Tammy Abraham is back in England’s squad

Tammy Abraham
Tammy Abraham.

On his recall back to England national team, Abraham said: “It was a surprise to me.

“I woke up to a call from Gareth and I was still half asleep and when I answered he spoke to me and what he said was at first he could not guarantee me games as there were only two games but he found a way and brought me in.

“I am always delighted to play for my country.”

Abraham is expected to play a part when England take on Andorra in FIFA World Cup qualifiers on October 9, and also play a part against Hungary on October 12, before it will return to Rome to continue with the 2021-2022 season.