Chelsea fans go through the five stages of grief when a manager or player is seemingly leaving or gone. Some move quickly past denial and anger and land somewhere between bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
The current situation with Tammy Abraham lies somewhere between those last three. He will have one year left on his contract. Despite not playing in about two months, he remains the club’s top scorer. He hasn’t been given the chances afforded to others performing worse than him and can’t even make the bench. Simply put, the club has given him no reason to stay and it is now or never to sell before he goes for free.
Chelsea is surely losing Abraham and that is a shame, but it will be made worse if the Blues sell him to their rivals. The designation has to suit the Blues. Currently, Leicester City and West Hama are the most rumored, followed by Brighton and surely more. So, who should the Blues refuse to sell to?
Leicester has to be an immediate no. Yes, the two clubs have a great relationship. It should also be a clue to the Blues that one of the best talent identification clubs in England wants Abraham but that is a whole other issue. Instead, Chelsea can merely look at the table. Leicester is currently ahead of Chelsea. Last year, bar a late collapse, they would have finished ahead of the Blues too. Unless Chelsea makes a massive leap to Manchester City and Liverpool levels next year, they will again be competing for top four with Leicester. The Blues can’t give the Foxes a Premier League proven striker to make it easier.
West Ham is a similar situation this year, though it remains to be seen whether their current run is a blip or a new norm. Either way, Chelsea shouldn’t be allowing a cross town rival access to their top scorer without a significant fee attached. Of course, if West Ham wants to play ball, there is a certain player Chelsea would surely be interested in coming the other way as a make weight.
Brighton is less of a concern other than the fact that they are statistical juggernauts that are seemingly just missing someone to put it into the net. Would Abraham alone be enough to convert all their chances as put them into a top six battle as their stats indicate? That would remain to be seen but Chelsea may not want to be the club to give them a chance to turn theory into reality.
North London and maybe Everton aside, nearly every other club would be more beneficial for the Blues to do business with when it comes to Abraham. Given his record, age, and nationality, the only thing stopping English clubs from going for him will be his price. That is still an unknown at this point but, regardless, Chelsea can afford to be picky about Abraham’s destination.
Even if Chelsea strengthens this transfer window, that will be diluted if they give rivals the pieces they are missing. Abraham is leaving when he probably shouldn’t be, but Chelsea can at least minimize the damage.