Thomas Tuchel reveals he has held talks with Tammy Abraham over his role at Chelsea after leaving striker out of recent squads… and Chelsea boss admits it’s ‘maybe more my fault than his’
Thomas Tuchel has revealed he held one-to-one talks with Tammy Abraham to encourage the striker to keep fighting for his place after he fell down the pecking order at Chelsea.
The England striker made 16 Premier League appearances earlier this season under Frank Lampard, but has made just four since Tuchel took charge at Stamford Bridge.
Timo Werner, Olivier Giroud and Kai Havertz have all been preferred in attack in recent weeks, leading to talks where the Chelsea boss reassured Abraham.
Thomas Tuchel has held talks with Tammy Abraham over the striker’s role at Chelsea
Abraham has struggled for minutes since Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard earlier this season
‘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.
‘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.
‘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.’
An ankle injury has hampered the striker’s chances of forcing his way back into the side
And even though Abraham is now fully fit after recovering from an ankle injury, Tuchel admits that the tactical flexibility he has shown since taking over has probably not been to the 23-year-old’s benefit.
‘In the moment where we left him out, it was a strong decision, we had other options on the bench,’ Tuchel said.
‘I think we started the Man United game with Oli Giroud, maybe Timo from the bench and maybe it was a tactical choice from a position wise.
‘He had a bit of a tough time because he started twice for us in the league, got substituted twice, didn’t have the easiest games, couldn’t find the momentum and once he got the bad tackle then suddenly the momentum shifted a little bit.
‘He suffers a little bit from me not finding the real formation up front. 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 No10 profiles, we have Timo who can play as a No 9, Oli and Kai who can play No 9 so he suffers a little bit from all these circumstances and it’s not his fault. Maybe more my fault than his fault.’
The likes of Kai Havertz (L) and Timo Werner (R) have been favoured by Tuchel in recent weeks