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‘He’s doing incredibly’ - Azpilicueta says he knew Abraham was ready for Chelsea

11:58 pm AEDT 8/10/19
Tammy Abraham Chelsea 2019-20
With his latest goal against Southampton taking him to nine for the season, the young striker has earned high praise from his club captain

Cesar Azpilicueta says that he knew Tammy Abraham was ready to make an impact for Chelsea this season, with the young striker taking his tally to nine in all competitions after scoring against Southampton on Sunday.

Though Frank Lampard’s side have made a mixed start to the campaign and are currently fifth in the Premier League, Abraham has been a source of optimism in testing circumstances.

Chelsea are currently under a transfer embargo imposed by FIFA after they were found guilty of breaching rules relating to signing overseas players under the age of 18, leaving them with an uneven squad and an unfamiliar reliance on academy graduates.

That has represented a huge opportunity for Abraham, however, along with the likes of Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Callum Hudson-Odoi, who made his first Premier League start against Southampton after a long lay-off with a ruptured Achilles.

The Blues ran out 4-1 winners at St Mary’s, Abraham opening the scoring with an improvised lob from long range.

Club captain Azpilicueta talked up Abraham’s contribution, saying: “I had confidence in him because I have known him since he was quite young.

“Every time I saw him his work ethic was very good. Last season he had an amazing spell at Aston Villa, he was a key player for them, he scored a lot of goals. 

“I knew he was ready for us and for the Premier League. As soon as he arrived he worked hard and wanted to help the team.

“Strikers live for goals so it’s great for him. He’s doing incredibly well and he scored an amazing goal. I’m very happy for him and I’m sure he can give us a lot more happiness in the future.”

Abraham is now joint-top of the Premier League goalscoring charts alongside Sergio Aguero which, given he’s still only 22, is seriously impressive.

Azpilicueta was keen to emphasise Chelsea’s progress as a team as well as Abraham’s individual heroics, though, adding: “We are improving. We knew at the beginning sometimes we were playing well enough to win games, but we were a bit unlucky. 

“The team has been working hard. At the start of the season we had the belief and the confidence in everyone. We are starting to get results, but we are still improving and we know we can go even higher.”