The trend of young English players moving abroad in order to find playing time is on the rise and their are few better examples of that than Tammy Abraham this season.
Abraham left Chelsea last summer to join former Blues boss Jose Mourinho in the Italian capital for £36m and has become the main man at the Stadio Olimpico. Scoring 19 times across all competitions. The latest of which couldn’t have been more important as it secured Roma’s passage to the UEFA Conference League final. The 2-1 aggregate victory over Leicester City has put the Giallorossi in their first European final since the 1970s.
Back in England, Arsenal have been on a very public search for a new number nine and Football London placed Abraham in the frame for that position. Speaking to SkySports though, Mourinho had both words of praise for Abraham and explained that he didn’t see Abraham returning to England at this point.
“He knows how happy I am. He knows how much I love the kid and the player and I’m proud of what we are doing and I’m so happy for Tammy. We have got into this situation where I demand a lot from him because I know he can do amazingly well.”
“I don’t think it’s an easy decision for a young player to leave his club, his house, his city, his country and to leave the Premier League which is of course a competition that when a player is in its hard to leave.”
“He took that option and I think he took it because he trusted me. And I think in this moment, if he wants to go back to England – I don’t think he wants to no – but if he wants to go back to England he just needs to click his fingers and I’m so happy for him.”
“He’s back in the national team and is loved in Rome. I don’t say proven everybody wrong, because I think everyone knows he’s a good player and I think also, with Smalling, Tomori and Tammy, showing the English boys that there is life outside the Premier League and in Italy there’s a life that makes them even better players.”
Micah Richards was the first player in recent times to leave the island for Italian shores and although his spell at Fiorentina didn’t go swimmingly, it has inspired others to follow in his path. Along with the players listed by Mourinho, Liam Henderson and Aaron Hickey have left Scottish football to make their living in Serie A.