The former Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has revealed that he was in talks to join Arsenal from Chelsea in 2021, but a call from Jose Mourinho changed his mind.
Before the start of last season, the Gunners were looking for a new striker. They were linked to a slew of high-profile names, none more so than Abraham, who was about to leave Chelsea.
The Englishman would have been a good addition for Arsenal, but Mourinho had other plans.
Tammy Abraham was dropped by Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel.
The German’s team selections demonstrated that he just did not like the striker, and it became clear that he would be leaving Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2021.
Arsenal were strongly linked at the time, and a transfer seemed extremely likely.
Abraham has now admitted that he was in talks with Arsenal, before a mystery phone call from AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho scuppered the proposed cross-London switch, and enticed him to the Italian capital.
Tammy Abraham on how he turned down an approach from Arsenal
Abraham told Rete Sport, as quoted by Tutto AS Roma: “It was time to leave Chelsea, and I was talking to different clubs in England and Europe. My attention was drawn to a certain London club. I didn’t have to move anywhere, I knew the area well. It was Arsenal. My father is a huge Arsenal fan so he was very enthusiastic, everything was fine.
“Then José called me. He said, ‘Hi Tammy, it’s José’. And I was like, ‘Wow, what a surprise!’. He asked me how the family was. I knew him well because he had known me as a child at Chelsea. He asked me: ‘Are you ready to leave the bad weather and come to sunny Rome?’
“I laughed, we talked a little more, he told me about the project, his ambitions for the team. He had been in Rome for a short time, but he explained to me what he had seen and what it felt like.
“I spoke to my agents and they said there was no question, a perfect time to start a new life, to go abroad and experience another different culture. I was so ready and I haven’t looked back since.”
Abraham made an immediate impact at Roma, quickly becoming a fan favourite.
Last season, the England international scored 27 goals and gave five assists, but he has been somewhat quiet this season, scoring only six times.
That doesn’t change the fact that Abraham is a talented striker, who will be in high demand this summer.
Arsenal have also been connected, with the Evening Standard stating this week that the Gunners scouted Abraham and other ‘physical’ strikers like him with the intention of acquiring one this summer.