Roma coach Jose Mourinho has praised Tammy Abraham for showing ‘ambition’ in joining the club from Chelsea and described the €40m transfer as a ‘real coup’.
Abraham scored 30 goals across all competitions in two seasons as Chelsea’s number nine, despite only starting 51 games during that time and losing his place almost completely after Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard in charge at Stamford Bridge in January.
The 23-year-old Englishman arrives in Rome to fill the shoes of departed veteran Edin Dzeko, who has joined Inter after scoring 119 goals for the Giallorossi since 2015.
Mourinho has admitted losing Dzeko has been a ‘surprise’, but praised the Roma hierarchy for how the situation has been handled and the capture of Abraham.
“In an incredibly difficult market and in a financial situation that is difficult for every, or more precisely, almost every club, having the willingness, the ambition, the respect for the fans and reacting in this way after losing Dzeko and bringing in Tammy Abraham was a real coup,” the Portuguese coach told the club’s official website.
“He’s never played for me because he was a 14, 15 and 16-year-old boy when I was at Chelsea, but I know him very well. I know him as a player, a person and in terms of his mentality. I know how he made the decision to leave the Premier League, which is always tough for an English player.”
Mourinho continued: "That tells me so much about him because when you leave the Premier League, you do so because you’re ambitious. You leave because you want to get back into your national team, because you want to play at the World Cup, because you want success outside of England, where not that many English players have had brilliant careers.
“He comes here with that ambition and we hope to see his best qualities as a player.”