Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard says people have “forgotten” how good Tammy Abraham was during the first half of last season and that the resurgent striker deserves more credit.
Having started the new campaign on the bench, Abraham has forced his way back into Lampard’s starting line-up and has scored in each of their last three games – victories over Sheffield United, Newcastle and Rennes, who Chelsea face once more in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Chelsea qualified for Europe’s top competition by finishing fourth in the Premier League last season, and Lampard believes a drop-off in the England striker’s form over the second half of the campaign caused many to forget the role Abraham played in the club’s success.
The 23-year-old scored 10 of his 15 Premier League goals last season in Chelsea’s opening 12 games, and often found himself on the bench with Olivier Giroud preferred up front following the restart in June.
The summer signing of Germany forward Timo Werner appeared to represent another obstacle in Abraham’s quest for first-team action, and when he was an unused substitute in Chelsea’s season opener against Brighton, his situation appeared bleak.
But Lampard believes Werner’s arrival may even have helped Abraham, saying:
“The whole point of bringing in players like Timo is not only bringing in quality, but to lift others around him, by linking up on the pitch or by squad competition.
“I have more options in forward areas and I need good reactions. Tammy’s shown a brilliant reaction and he needs to be on that edge. All the young players need to be on edge daily to push themselves to try and play in this team.
“When they play like Tammy is at the moment, he starts making my decisions easier because he’s playing so well.
“Linking up with people like Timo will obviously help, but first and foremost, it always has to be about the player himself. Tammy should take credit for his start and understand that the next challenge is to remain consistent.”