Jose Mourinho leads £ 34million charge at Chelsea to repeat Romelu Lukaku transfer embarrassment – Daniel Childs
The sight of Tammy Abraham scoring goals will probably always warm my heart (as long as it’s not against Chelsea).
Abraham proves in Serie A what he has done throughout his years at Cobham, on loan with Bristol City and Aston Villa before returning to Stamford Bridge, he is a natural goalscorer; that’s what he does best.
That wasn’t enough to keep him in his childhood club, a forgotten figure under Thomas Tuchel for the second half of the 2020/21 season after the German arrived. A summer departure had become inevitable even before the Blues lifted the Champions League in May.
Only football can spawn such tales, with a beloved former Blues boss leading a charge to replicate a slightly embarrassing tale from the past.
It was the 2013/14 season when a return from Jose Mourinho decided to loan Romelu Lukaku to Everton instead of going for the older trio of Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o.
All three had good spells, but none really added the ruthless finish required by Mourinho, instead of proving to be an Achilles heel for Portuguese title hopes against Manchester City and Liverpool, ultimately finishing third.
In Merseyside, Lukaku was scoring for fun, scoring 15 Premier League points for Roberto Martinez, more than any of Torres, Ba or Eto’o. The following summer Lukaku was sold but Mourinho got his desired finisher in Diego Costa which lessened the blow from Lukaku’s quick exit.
Seven years later, Mourinho is now in Rome and helping Abraham prove his talent once again, scoring twice against Atalanta in the Giallorossi’s 4-1 victory on Saturday.
Those goals made him Roma’s top Serie A scorer so far this quarter with six in Italy’s top group, 12 in all competitions matching his total for the entire 2020/21 season at Chelsea.
“He’s capable of scoring 20 goals per season – that’s exactly what he did with Chelsea. I’m super happy with Tammy.” Mourinho said after the victory.
When the 24-year-old left west London in August for a Â£ 34million transfer to Rome it seemed like the best decision for the player’s career, but also because Chelsea had just acquired a finisher mortal who had already sat in Abraham’s place in Lukaku. .
The Â£ 98million Belgian was said to regret letting a young talent like Abraham go as Chelsea aimed to compete for the Premier League title with a more ruthless attack.
Sadly, that just didn’t happen and it is difficult to properly frame the narrative that Lukaku failed given the striker was out for more than a month with an ankle injury, following his return from this injury this month, he has now tested positive for COVID-19, effectively excluding him from the holiday schedule.
But Lukaku’s only three league goals are nowhere near what his brilliant start foresaw, beyond him, this is where the numbers become just as worrying. Timo Werner with only one to his name, Kai Havertz only two.
The three combined are Abraham’s League total, but for a combined investment of Â£ 205million, it’s not a great look.
Looking closer to home adds more fuel to a simmering fire of attacking frustration, the two loan players of Armando Broja and Conor Gallagher have scored more league goals than Lukaku, Werner and Havertz.
Broja are only three away from matching Werner’s league goals tally for Chelsea since the start of last season despite the club paying Â£ 45million for the forward in 2020. Albanian started only six in the first English level, Gallagher is a midfielder.
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Chelsea’s lavishness has cost them dearly in recent years, which is probably why so much has been invested in the bottom third of the transfer market to bring the club back to more ruthless days.
Tuchel like Mourinho is hoping his attack will kick in quickly to alleviate any embarrassment over players who are believed not to be ready or just not good enough for the current first team.
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