Thomas Tuchel has revealed he’s held clear-the-air talks with Tammy Abraham over his role at Chelsea, confirming that he has a part to play at the club.
The 23-year-old has found himself on the fringes of first-team action since Tuchel arrived as Chelsea’s new boss, and has been afforded just 123 minutes of Premier League action in the last two months.
There has been speculation over whether Abraham’s future lies away from Stamford Bridge, with stalled talks over a new deal doing little to encourage fans that the former Villa loanee will remain at the club long term.
However, Tuchel has revealed he’s spoken with Abraham regarding his lack of involvement in recent months and has ensured him that he’s ‘part of the group’.
“We had some talks to encourage him to never give in, to accept the situation, to not overthink it, to just come back to the situation where the striker must not overthink it,” Tuchel said in his latest press conference, quoted by the Mirror.
“He just needs to be in the flow and if the team is winning without him then you can feel a little bit excluded. But it’s not like this with him so hopefully he can be back now, back in the squad, be totally free and there’s some hard choices and he’s a part of the group.”
An injury picked up in Chelsea‘s 1-1 draw with Southampton in February has done Abraham no favours in his bid to secure a regular starting place, and Tuchel admitted the knock has had a big impact – also noting that his failure to decide on a preferred tactic has been detrimental to Abraham’s game.
“It’s been hard for him because he’s never felt fully free, never felt fully painless after this tackle so it was hard for him to really perform on the level that you need to perform in training to convince your coach to leave somebody else out,” he added.
“He suffers a little bit from me not finding the real formation up front. OK, let’s play always like this, this is our position, these are the guys you compete against and compete against A, B, C and D.’ It’s a bit more complex because I have to get to know the team better.
“Sometimes we play with wingers, sometimes we play with players with number ten profiles, we have Timo who can play as a number nine, Oli and Kai who can play number nine so he suffers a little bit from all these circumstances and it’s not his fault. Maybe more my fault than his fault.”