AS Roma striker Tammy Abraham has been working his way through a very tough season with the Giallorossi having scored only a fraction of the goals that he managed in his first Serie A campaign.
The Englishman netted a seriously impressive 27 goals across Serie A, The UEFA Europa Conference League and the Coppa Italia in the 2021/22 campaign but 2022/23 has not been so kind. He is currently on seven goals for the season, meaning even with a serious upturn in form he will not be bettering last year’s tally.
It is this form that has led to rumours of a move back to the Premier League and that is one of the topics discussed by Abraham when he sat down with our man in Rome Alasdair Mackenzie for an interview with FourFourTwo for both their website and magazine.
“Hi Tammy, it’s Jose”
Tammy Abraham has never hidden the fact that he did not have a move to Roma or Italy on his radar when it became clear that he would not be getting the game time he wanted at Chelsea. It was actually Arsenal that seemed the most likely destination.
He then got a phone call from Jose Mourinho, who knew him from when he was a kid in the Chelsea Academy.
“Then Jose called. I never usually answer numbers I don’t have saved in my contacts. But he said, ‘Hi Tammy, it’s Jose’. I was like, ‘Wow, that’s a surprise!’ He asked how the family was,” Abraham began.
“I was familiar with him because he knew me as a kid at Chelsea. He asked me, ‘Are you ready to leave the bad weather behind and come to sunny Rome?’ I laughed, we spoke a bit more, he told me about the project, his ambitions for the team. He’d only been at the club a short time, but explained what he’d seen and what it was like.
“I spoke to my agents and they said it was a no-brainer, the perfect time to start a new life, to go abroad and learn about a different culture. I was so ready for it, and I haven’t looked back since.”
Abraham won’t rule out a Chelsea return
There has been no suggestion from Abraham during this difficult campaign that he is really eyeing a move away from the club, it has seemed like a purely sporting issue rather than anything to do with being settled in Rome.
He is a very open-minded player and person, though, so when asked whether he would go back to Chelsea he responded: “Would I go back there? In football you can never say never. I haven’t started thinking about anything yet, apart from being here and doing my best.”
Abraham joined Roma from Chelsea in August 2021 after it became clear he would not be getting the first-team chances that he felt he deserved. He is a product of the Premier League sides’ youth academy and earned the club €40 million when he joined the Giallorossi.
“I wouldn’t say there’s unfinished business in England – I’m in no rush. Football has no location, it could be anywhere. Maybe I stay at Roma for the next decade, maybe I don’t. You never know what’s around the corner,” Abraham said.
Life in Rome for Abraham
English players moving abroad at a young age is not the norm and along with Fikayo Tomori, Abraham is one of those that has made the best of it in Italy when the Premier League was not yielding the right opportunities.
He may be in Rome, the home of four particularly famous pasta dishes that can contain a selection of ingredients such as tomatoes, guanciale, pecorino romano, eggs or black pepper, but it is pesto that has really captured the heart of Abraham.
“Pesto is my favourite dish – it’s not Roman, but I could eat that every day,” Abraham said. I never had it before in England, so coming here was the first time.
“When I first arrived, everyone was speaking English with me, but as time has gone on people are starting to speak more Italian.
“I’m picking up a few words – for anything I don’t know, I’ll ask what it means. I can get around, understanding some of the language and trying to speak it.”