Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel admits Tammy Abraham can see herself as ‘unfairly’ treated at Chelsea amid uncertainty over her future at the club.
Abraham still has fans at Villa Park since his brilliant 2018/19 season loan which helped Dean smith promotion side.
The England international was absent from the Chelsea squad for the third game against Everton on Monday night as he suffered from an ankle problem despite returning to training before the game. An earlier decision to leave Abraham on the sidelines to face Manchester United in late February was unrelated to injury.
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Tuchel has preferred to face Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Olivier Giroud in recent matches, with Abraham having only had 65 minutes of Premier League action since January.
The German head coach was asked about the limited play time he gave people like Abraham, Christian Pulisic and Emerson Palmieri after the victory against Everton.
“I can’t say anything but positive things about her [Pulisic], Tuchel said. “Maybe his problem is that from Dortmund I know how strong he is on the bench.
“I think he only started for us in the cup game. Ultimately it’s my responsibility and my fault but it’s a bit unfair but I know what impact it can have in the last 20-30 minutes (from the bench). He’s been unlucky in the last few games, it’s not a lack of confidence or a lack of quality, you just have to be patient.
“We have, for example, another guy that I would like to mention is Emerson who suffers from bad decisions on my part, who doesn’t play but is an amazing guy and trains at the top level, never lets down the team with its mentality.
“It was a super tough decision today to take him off the squad, same with Tammy, that’s how it is. It tells us we’re a strong group and the guys have to keep fighting, he there is no other way.
Abraham is Chelsea’s top scorer with 12 goals this season despite struggling for opportunities under Tuchel.
The 23-year-old has scored 26 goals in 40 appearances for Villa, including a decisive goal in the play-off semi-final first leg against West Brom.
He remains a popular player with Villa fans, who are hopeful that Smith and sporting director Johan Lange can offer new competition to first-choice striker Ollie Watkins in time for next season.