Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel admits striker Tammy Abraham is struggling to accept his decisions after the Englishman was dropped from the matchday squad for Sunday's 0-0 draw with Manchester United.
Tuchel opted to start Olivier Giroud and kept Timo Werner and Kai Havertz on the bench, leaving no room for Abraham, who has started just twice in the Premier League under the new boss and has been hooked at half-time in both.
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Concerns grew immediately after the team sheet was revealed, with fans confused as to why Tuchel would name two left-backs on the bench, Marcos Alonso and Emerson, but not find a place for Abraham.
However, Tuchel suggested after the game that he simply has too many good players and not enough spots on the bench, meaning somebody is always going to miss out.
"We have 21 strong players and only 18 possible [to be picked]. It is my job to take hard decisions," Tuchel explained (via the Daily Mail).
"At the moment he is only struggling with my decision. We have a strong squad. We have only Thiago Silva injured – that means we have to make hard decisions. It was also an unfair decision for Billy Gilmour because Billy played well in the cup and he was very strong in training.
"It was a hard decision. It was about judging the alternatives that we have and we opted for Olivier Giroud to begin, Timo Werner on the bench. We have Kai Havertz who can play as a number nine so there was no need to bring a fourth number nine to the pitch.
"Things are difficult for him. Things are not as easy as they should be for him in the moment and he will get full support. This was the decision."
Abraham remains under contract at Chelsea until 2023, but he is not thought to be interested in discussing an extension as it stands, with the Blues still seemingly preferring other options in his position.
There have been countless reports suggesting Chelsea are prepared to break the bank to sign Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland this summer, and interest in the Norway international has done nothing to help Abraham's concerns.