Ahead of tonight’s Conference League showdown versus Leicester City, Roma’s Tammy Abraham gave an extensive interview to The Athletic as he prepares for his return to England.
The 24 year-old discussed a variety of topics, including last summer’s transfer saga that saw him leave Chelsea to join the Giallorossi. He was asked about what it felt like to go from out-of-favor with the Blues to one of Roma’s most adored and appreciated players.
“It’s funny you say that—my father said something similar to this,” he revealed. “Of course it’s difficult when you’ve grown up at a club and you’ve fallen out of favour. It’s never nice.”
“But I’ve come here and it’s been like a dream come true. I’m no more that academy player—they’ve made me into a star.”
“They look at you differently. That’s what I needed. I needed that self-belief again, that confidence, to be able to think, ‘You know what, I can make noise here’.”
“It’s an incredible club. Since I set foot in this place they made me feel like this is my home straight away. Even from the welcome at the airport—my signing wasn’t announced properly until I was here so I don’t know who spread the word, but it was unbelievable to see so many people there to welcome me.”
“Very exciting. When I score, wow, the passion. They talk about football everywhere you go. They’re die-hard fans.”
“I’ve come here and there’s a new me; I’m me again. I’ll never forget Jose’s first few words to me,” reveals Abraham.
“He said to me: ‘Do you want to stay in rainy England or come and enjoy some sun in Rome?’ We laughed and had a good chat.”
“He played a massive part in getting me here. I call him my uncle of Italy,” he joked.
Though, he confesses that after spending so many years at Chelsea, his exit from the club was initially tough to take despite struggling to find playing time under Thomas Tuchel.
“I’ll admit it was a very low point in my career,” he says. “It did mess with me mentally for a bit.”
“It got to a point towards the back end of the season where I was stropping, I was annoyed, because I’m working hard in training and I wasn’t getting the chances.”
“I was doing the best I could, getting in early and finishing late, training drills, finishing drills, and still wasn’t getting a look in.”
He continued, “I could understand if I wasn’t in great form or wasn’t training well or had a bad attitude. I just didn’t understand. I was working so hard. I was having players coming up to me saying, ‘You were unbelievable today in training’. That was the hardest part.”
“I was there since I was a young boy and all I knew was London, all I knew was Chelsea, apart from my loans (to Bristol City, Swansea City and Aston Villa). But there’s a time in your career where you have to do what’s best for you.”
“I had to go out and make a name for myself again. From the first day I set foot here, that was my goal. I’ve seen the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Mo Salah and Lukaku leave Chelsea and spread their wings.”
Adding, “They’re the best players in the world. For me, it’s about doing the same thing and even if it’s not the Premier League, it’s about going out and learning a different culture and experiencing different things.”
As for tonight’s clash against the Foxes, the Englishman admits he’s buzzing ahead of kick-off.
“It’s a massive game and I can’t wait to be back in England. I think I reserved 25 tickets for friends and family.”
“A trophy would make this the perfect season and I want to really find out who I am and show the world what I can do,” he admitted.