Tammy Abraham appears ready to play a big role at Chelsea this season, with the striker revealing that manager Frank Lampard has asked him to take the No. 9 shirt.
Abraham scored in Chelsea’s 2-1 victory over Barcelona in a pre-season friendly on Tuesday, as he continues to build a case that he should be involved with the Blues in 2019-20.
The 21-year-old has spent the past three seasons out on loan, playing for Bristol City, Swansea City and Aston Villa, with his 25 league goals last season helping the Villans secure promotion to the Premier League.
With Chelsea currently under a transfer ban, they are unable to sign any new players, leaving them with just Abraham, Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi as recognised senior strikers.
England international Abraham appears in line to benefit, as he revealed that his manager has big plans for him this upcoming season.
“I am honoured to wear the No. 9 shirt at Chelsea,” Abraham told reporters after the Barcelona game at Saitama Stadium in Japan. “It was a fantastic performance by everyone today.
“I spoke to the manager and he asked me if I am ready to take the No. 9. I said I am ready.
“I am glad he offered the No. 9. I think football brings a lot of pressure but it strives me on. It gives me that extra belief to go on and do well.”
The No. 9 shirt at Chelsea has been something of a poisoned chalice in recent seasons, with a host of Blues players failing to live up to expectations while wearing the famous number.
Gonzalo Higuain, Alvaro Morata, Radamel Falcao and Fernando Torres are just a few of the players who have underwhelmed in the No. 9 shirt.
Abraham, however, is not concerning himself with talk that his new number at Chelsea carries any sort of a curse.
“I have heard all the rubbish about the [curse] of the No. 9 shirt,” Abraham said. “I am just here to play my game and do my best.”
Abraham burst onto the scene with Bristol City in 2016-17, scoring 23 goals in the Championship to earn himself a loan move to Premier League side Swansea the following season.
The striker did not quite hit the same heights with the Swans in 2017-18, as he managed five Premier League goals in a season that saw the South Wales outfit relegated to the Championship.
But Abraham bounced back with another stellar campaign in the Championship last term, which appears to have him on the verge of a prominent role at Chelsea this upcoming season.