‘He needs to be nastier’ – Jamie Redknapp urges Chelsea player to embrace the dark arts
Former Premier League footballer Jamie Redknapp has praised the weekend performance of Tammy Abraham for Chelsea – but has called on the 21-year-old to find his nasty side to nail down his place in the Blues starting lineup.
Abraham was recalled to lead the line away at Norwich City on Saturday lunchtime after making a substitute appearance against Leicester City the week before, and rewarded his manager’s decision to do so with a match-winning double that gave Frank Lampard his first win as Chelsea boss.
However, with Olivier Giroud rivalling him for a starting place, Redknapp believes Abraham must bring an element of nastiness into his game – emulating striking predecessor Diego Costa in the process.
He told The Daily Mail: “There was pressure on his side to win, but Lampard had the courage to start with Tammy Abraham up front and his bravery was rewarded as the 21-year-old got two goals.
“Abraham is not the finished article. I think he needs to be nastier and a master of the dark arts like Diego Costa. Then maybe the No9 shirt will be his for the foreseeable future.”
Redknapp said it himself – Abraham is not the finished article. But should that not allow him to naturally become the striker he is destined to be – rather than evoke the memories of a former Chelsea striker?
Abraham’s short senior Chelsea career to date has surely provided enough promise (two goals at the weekend, winning a penalty against Liverpool, coming close to scoring at Old Trafford) to suggest that his future in a Chelsea shirt is bright enough.
Does taking the path of another player not limit his own abilities? Would Redknapp ask someone like Marcus Rashford to do similar?
If he continues to score, why would a short temper be required?
And given the likes of Eden Hazard or even teammate Giroud have helped deliver trophies to Stamford Bridge without resorting to the kind of dark arts that Redknapp references, perhaps it would be best for Chelsea to allow Abraham to simply make a name for himself.
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