Thomas Tuchel’s message to Tammy Abraham was stark and brutal: ‘There is no easy way of getting back into my team.’ The Chelsea manager has admitted that Abraham – still amazingly, his club’s top scorer with 12 goals this season – has had a rough ride since he took over. But, the German warned, he does not pick his teams on sentiment.
“Tammy had a rough time because he started games and was subbed for tactical reasons. He could not have the impact he demands from himself – and that we wish from him.
“Then he was injured, and the squad played very well without him. Now we enter the decisive part of the season, where it is not so easy to bring back players who were injured.
“It is on Tammy to do everything possible. Nothing has changed. We demand a lot of him. He demands a lot of himself.
“He is using every minute to convince us he needs to be on the pitch. Hopefully he stays fit and will play a key role in the end of the season.”
West Ham are keen on Abraham and watching his situation closely, but Tuchel added: “From the first minute I arrived, I saw a bright young man, who is self confident, has a lot of talent.
“But it cannot be that in a period of good results that suddenly the guys who don’t play are the winners. If you are in a winning squad, you have your part.
“Tammy is totally hungry to turn things around. Is now the moment to do crazy stuff and try things? I’m not so sure.
“Tammy suffers the circumstances – maybe it’s not his fault, but it’s also not our fault. OK he’s the top scorer – but if you look at the data since we are here, it will maybe tell you a different story.”
Abraham is out of contract in 2023 with an agreement yet to be found over an extension, and Tuchel’s comments may spell a parting of ways in the summer, particularly with Erling Haaland and Sergio Aguero being looked at by the Blues.
Probable Chelsea team vs Crystal Palace: (3-4-3): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Christensen; James, Kante, Kovacic, Alonso; Ziyech, Mount, Werner.