Chelsea youngster Tammy Abraham is ready to go straight into the first team at Stamford Bridge, according to Bristol City boss Lee Johnson. The 18-year-old is currently on a season-long loan at Ashton Gate, where he has scored nine goals in 11 matches including the winner at Fulham in the English Football League Cup.
The England youth international made two appearances for the Blues under Guus Hiddink at the back-end of last term, including his full debut in the final day draw against Premier League champions Leicester City. Abraham was part of the sides that won the FA Youth Cup and Uefa Youth League in 2015 and 2016 and big things are expected of the forward.
Abraham was one of 38 players to leave Chelsea on loan during the summer transfer window. He has been the standout performer from that crop, helping City to three Championship wins already this term and into the fourth round of the EFL Cup, where they will face Hull City. Johnson believes Antonio Conte should take note of Abraham's displays, which prove he is ready for the West Londoners' first team.
"He was our trump card. I'm delighted for him to carry the weight for us again," said Johnson after the 2-1 win at Craven Cottage, according to The Sun. "The world is his oyster. I think he can do anything he wants. The test will be does he keep his feet on the ground? But I believe he will — he's got a strong family behind him.
"He's a lovely lad and loves his football. That's the bit that can't change — he's got to keep loving football, not be in love with being a footballer. He's top class and he can go into Chelsea's team now. He's a poacher, his movement is very good and when he's energised and got the buzz, he's a real handful."
Despite Johnson's ringing endorsement, the England Under-19 international Abraham must break the trend of Chelsea youngsters spiralling into obscurity. Despite the success of their youth teams, few players have progressed from the academy into the first team during Roman Abramovich's ownership, with managers preferring to add to their squad using the Russian's billions rather than home-grown talents.
Captain John Terry is regarded as the last home-grown player to become a mainstay of Chelsea's first team, in spite of him starting his youth career with West Ham United. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Izzy Brown and Abraham have since all made outings but Conte is yet to commit to blooding young players during his tenure.