With the title of this article nearing dangerously close to something out of Harry Potter, Tammy Abraham has rejected the club’s latest contract offer. With the season being cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic, many players’ good seasons haven’t had the chance to be fully realised. At just 22, Abraham has led the front line in Frank Lampard’s first season at the club and for the most part, has been a success. As one of the many academy graduates to enter the scene this season, it has seen most earn new contracts due to their performances. However, Abraham is still to agree to a new contract. Which begs the question, what is the issue here?
Current Contract Situation
For now, the situation is this – he has rejected the latest long-term contract offer from the club. Many now believe he is waiting for a wage packet similar to what Callum Hudson-Odoi currently has. You may remember he was embroiled in a situation where he almost used Bayern Munich’s interest as a way for the club to pay him what he wanted in order to stay. His contract is rumoured to be around the £180,000 mark.
With the club seemingly looking to offload Michy Batshuayi at the next possible opportunity and Olivier Giroud’s future also uncertain, it seems he wants assurance before putting pen to paper. Rumours are that Chelsea are looking at the likes of Moussa Dembele, Timo Werner and Lautaro Martinez over the summer to come in and battle it out for the striker’s position.
This is crazy money we’re talking about and for players who have really just appeared in the first team only this year. Other youngsters have put pen to paper rather quickly with Billy Gilmour, Reece James, Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Callum Hudson-Odoi already signing on.
With prior experience in the Premier League with Swansea and two good years in the Championship, Abraham was given his chance by the gaffer when the club had a transfer ban in last year’s summer transfer window. Youth was the way forward it seemed, as Abraham bagged eight goals in as many games.
It was a big step up from Championship football to leading the line in the Premier League and Champions League. Many thought he simply wouldn’t be able to rise to the level required. To people’s surprise though, he showed hunger, willingness to run in behind, ability to be used as a target man and he always looked to be involved as much as possible.
It was refreshing to have a young, English homegrown talent fighting for the badge. Of course, there were times of naivety which was to be expected. Some fans became frustrated after his initial ‘honeymoon’ phase in the Chelsea team seemed to end. From December onwards, he only managed four goals in 14 games as he and the team struggled. Injuries had derailed his season; an ankle and hip problem restricting his movement as he struggled to really get back to full fitness like we saw at the start of the season.
Let’s approach it in a basic way, I believe that new contracts should only be rewarded for consistently good performances over a long period of time. Also, players shouldn’t be given the large amounts of money that we see these days at such a young age. It comes with distractions and the feeling that they’ve made it so early in their career when in fact they haven’t yet achieved anything concrete.
Having such high wage figures at a young age, outside of their peak, is scary because when they do reach their peak they will be demanding crazy sums of money. Not to mention the fact that if a world-class player does come to Chelsea and they see the likes of Abraham and Hudson-Odoi on £180k, they will want upwards of £250k as they will have more pedigree.
Of course, money in football has continued to grow and so does wages. But, I think back to the old school days in football when younger players only earned low wages as they had to slowly work and improve season-by-season, and only earned more when they’ve actually deserved it. Otherwise, it all goes to their heads and players’ develop egos which can be a danger to their future careers.
Tammy is Chelsea through and through and still has a contract until 2022. We have a world-class level of youth with players still to come into the frame next season. I want all these players to stick together for as long as it benefits the team’s success. But I don’t personally believe any of the graduates should be on any more than £100k as an absolute maximum at this point in time. However, this is the modern game (sadly) and I think we will see Tammy sign on but for a contract the size of which he hasn’t earnt yet.
Edited by: Martell