Arsenal are eyeing a loan move for Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham. The reports seem to originate from The S*n, who we do not link to, but the transfer rumor has gained enough traction that most of the other outlets have run with it. The loan would reportedly come with an obligation to buy at £40M at the end of next season, which is fine because Arsenal are going to need to restock the striker pantry soon anyway.
Abraham, 23, is homegrown with a 15-goal Premier League season to his name as well as two 20+ goal seasons in the Championship. Last year, he scored 12 goals (6 in the Prem) in 32 appearances in all competitions playing mostly from the bench in the PL. He’s a shot-taker and xG monster, but not much of a passer — attacking moves end with him. Scott Willis, (@oh_that_crab) tweeted some graphics derived from Abraham’s very good 2019-20 season, when he was a regular starter.
I realized there was an error in the 2019/20 stats that I posted earlier on Tammy Abraham, here is the updated version:— Scott “says soccer” Willis (@oh_that_crab) July 21, 2021
Tammy Abraham - 2019-2020 Premier League, compared to forwards Crab Cake pic.twitter.com/u82iTnGue2
In a vacuum, I like the move. Abraham is a good, young player and Arsenal are going to need a striker sooner rather than later because Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is 32 and out of contract at the end of ‘22-’23. Alexandre Lacazette’s contract is up at the end of this season, and he doesn’t have a future in North London. Eddie Nketiah could be on the move this summer and I’m still not convinced he’s good enough to be an Arsenal regular. Folarin Balogun was just promoted to the first team and has 76 minutes of senior footballing experience.
If Arsenal do loan-in Abraham, I think a few other things need to (and probably will) happen. I think Eddie Nketiah gets sold. Alexandre Lacazette could be sold too, but I’m not sure there is much of a market for him right now. It’s more likely he’ll play out his deal and leave on a free this coming summer. Of those two, I think Lacazette is much more likely to make a meaningful impact for Arsenal this season, so I’d be alright with him staying and playing for the club for another year. Nketiah has more value because of his age and homegrown status, and could fetch a fee that could help swing another deal.
I’d also like to see Folarin Balogun loaned out somewhere he’s going to play regularly; he needs first team, senior minutes, even if that is the Championship. This season, he’s not going to get the developmental minutes he needs at Arsenal — he’s fourth in the pecking order. Adding Abraham would move Balogun further down the depth chart. Aside: even though Balogun is highly-rated and we fancy his prospects, he’s not nailed-on to be a star / the striker of the future at Arsenal.
The club would do very well to hedge by acquiring a Premier League proven player in Tammy Abraham. And honestly, the move is a good one independent of Folarin Balogun. Arsenal are going to need striker soon. I think £40M is a fair price for a proven young player with significant upside. That’s good business in my book.