Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori are shining for Chelsea this season and gave Sky Sports’ Patrick Davison an insight into their journey from academy to Premier League.
The pair have been given their chance under new manager Frank Lampard – who worked with Tomori on loan at Derby last season – and they are certainly grabbing it with both hands.
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Abraham has topped the Premier League scoring charts with seven goals, which have all come in the last three games, while Tomori has impressed with his assured performances in defence.
The 21-year-olds came through Chelsea’s famed academy together, winning numerous titles including the FA Youth Cup and the UEFA Youth League, and gave Davison a tour round their old haunts to reflect on how far they have come.
Abraham said: “Growing up in the academy, when we got to the youth teams, we felt like we were getting closer and closer. The managers always used to say ‘it is only a road away’ and he meant the path between the two pitches [youth team and first team]. That made us strive.
“We had such a good academy, we’ve played with some fantastic players over the years and we just wanted it so bad. The FA Youth Cup was everything to everyone. We wanted to win every game, have fun and express ourselves.
“We were always limited to how many games were on TV and we knew that if we got to the later stages, the games would be on TV and we were all excited for that.
“We heard a lot of things about Chelsea not bringing youngsters in and we just blocked that out. We believed that we would break the curse and we’d be the ones to break in. So far, we’ve done so. With the manager, Frank Lampard, coming in and Jody Morris and Joe Edwards who I think I’ve played under, everything fell into place.”
Tomori added: “I came here as a striker but I wasn’t that useful. I’ve stopped scoring too many goals now but back then, I think I used to.
“A couple of times, maybe John Terry or the manager now [ Lampard] would be here [watching the youth team], even Didier Drogba sometimes. You’d be playing and you know they were there so maybe you’d try a little flick or something.
“When we used to train with the U9s or U10s, John Terry would come over and he was a big guy, we’d be like ‘that’s the Chelsea captain, he plays for England’. Looking back on those times now, it’s surreal.”
Winning at Wolves
While Tomori claims he does not score much now, he does already have his first senior goal for Chelsea after just three matches, and it was a sensational effort against Wolves last weekend.
Abraham – who himself scored a hat-trick at Molineux – joked after the game that Tomori would usually ‘break a window’ win such a strike, but the defender believes he has put those worries to bed.
He said: “The week leading up to it and the day before, he was right, but I don’t think he can say it now after that goal. It was a decent goal and nice to score my first Premier League goal.
“When we finished the game and Tammy came onto the pitch, he had the match ball under his arm and I was looking at him like ‘Tammy just scored a hat-trick in the Prem’. Now we’re all together in the Premier League, celebrating a win where all three of us [including Mason Mount] have scored, those are the moments you dream about.”
Abraham added: “I was thinking ‘don’t shoot, don’t shoot’ – I screamed it so loud as well. As soon as he shot in the position I was, I could see it was going in the top pocket. The ball flew past my face and went into the top corner. I just went quiet and then started screaming.
“After the game, that’s when it hit us – Fiakyo just scored a worldie from outside the box for his first Premier League goal and first goal for Chelsea.”
Revenge against Liverpool?
Next up for Chelsea is a visit from leaders Liverpool, live on Sky Sports, who have a 100 per cent record in the Premier League so far. The two sides have already met this term, playing in the Super Cup and both Abraham and Tomori were involved in the defeat on penalties.
Abraham in particular has some demons to exorcise having missed the final spot kick, and is relishing the chance to face Liverpool once again.
He said: “I’m excited and I’m sure a lot of the boys are excited as well. We had a good result against Wolves, but we were a bit disappointed with the Champions League game but we’ve got to focus on this game against Liverpool. We know they’re a top team, we played them earlier this season and we’re looking for pay back now.”
Chelsea vs Liverpool
September 22, 2019, 4:00pm
Tomori added: “These are the kinds of games you want to be playing in, they’re big games against the best players. They’re the champions of Europe at the moment and they probably have the best front three in the world on their day.
“They’re a good team and we have to be on top of our game if we want to beat them, but on our day, we can beat anyone so hopefully it can be our day on Sunday.”
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