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Abraham can win the Premier League Golden Boot - Azpilicueta

16:08 GMT+3 05/12/2019
Tammy Abraham
The Blues captain admits his club have a striker who is a star in the making after he proved the difference once again against Aston Villa

Cesar Azpilicueta believes that Tammy Abraham is capable of becoming the Premier League's top scorer and scoop the Golden Boot in his first full season in the English top tier.

Abraham returned to action on Wednesday after recovering from injury and was back on the scoresheet as Chelsea beat Aston Villa - the Blues' first win in three games - with the striker also registering the assist for Mason Mount's goal in the 2-1 result.

The strike took Abraham's tally to 11 goals in 14 games in the league, meaning he sits behind only Leicester's Jamie Vardy in the race for the Golden Boot.

And Blues captain Azpilicueta, who was quick to point out that Abraham is more than just a poacher, feels that the 23-year-old can push his England team-mate all the way.

“He has the potential to go even higher,” the skipper said. “We know we are still in December with a lot of games but with his passion and hunger, he is capable of getting to the top, for sure.

“I am confident that he can get many more goals because of the way he is working and improving since he started pre-season.

“Not only is he scoring goals. He is playing for the team, recovering the ball and he made a tackle in our own half - that was an amazing effort for him.

“He made an assist as well [against Villa]. I am not just looking into his goals as a number because he is doing more than that. His desire is amazing. When he was injured, he wanted to come back as soon as possible.

“I think for him it was special to play against Aston Villa where he got promoted to the Premier League and where he had an amazing spell there. So for him, it was a special game.

“I am very happy for him because he showed that strength of character to play, score and get an assist. He was key for us. He showed his desire in pre-season to be a striker for Chelsea.

“It is something he has dreamt about and he worked for it all the way through the academy. He got his chance and is making the most of it.

“Vardy is doing an amazing season with a lot of goals and Tammy is behind him so if he is there, it is because he deserves it.”

Abraham has been a big factor in Chelsea establishing a six-point cushion in their efforts to qualify for next season's Champions League through a top-four finish.

By inspiring his team to victory on Wednesday, the striker ensured the gap between the Blues and fifth-place Wolves remains the same, but Azpilicueta admits that there are concerns over his side's defending and ability to kill off matches as they struggle to keep clean sheets.

“It's something we have to improve because we are conceding a lot of goals,” he said. “We made it more difficult for ourselves. If we kept a clean sheet and went in 1-0 at half-time then the second half could be more open and we would have had everything in front of us.

“And against West Ham. If we don’t concede I’m sure we could push and maybe score one goal and win. Against Crystal Palace, even if it was not our best game, 2-0 was enough.

“It's an area where we need to improve because defensive solidity is key throughout a season and I'm sure we'll keep working hard to get that. Offensively, we're creating a lot of chancing and scoring a lot of goals.

“We are creating more [chances than we are taking, though], I'm sure we'll get that killer instinct better through the season. You're going to have games like this.

“You can't win every game 3-0 in the first half and thing go easy. Sometimes you have to dig in and work hard - even though we were 1-1 at half time and deserved to be ahead.

“The reaction of the team after the equaliser was very good. We put a lot of pressure on them. Even at 2-1 we created a lot of chances. It was just a lack of killing the game to enjoy the final minutes.

“We played three games without a win. We needed a good reaction from Saturday. It wasn't a good game and not a good result. We were facing a good side and we saw that. We had to suffer until the end.

“The most important thing was the three points [against Villa], even though we could have won more comfortably with the way we played.”