Unless you’ve had zero access to the internet for the past week, you’re aware that Roma and Tiago Pinto have been pushing hard for Chelsea's Tammy Abraham to become Roma’s next starting striker. After the Giallorossi quickly agreed to a deal with Chelsea for Abraham’s services, the days of negotiations between Pinto and Abraham’s entourage were reported upon breathlessly by all the usual suspects. You could practically set your watch to the daily updates from La Repubblica, Sky Sports, and Fabrizio Romano detailing where exactly the Giallorossi were on the road to signing the England international, and just how close Arsenal might be to spoiling Roma’s dreams of a new-look forward line.
With Edin Džeko’s move to Inter Milan confirmed and real meaningful games on the horizon, it was clear that something was going to give, and give it did:
Tammy Abraham will fly to Rome on Sunday to undergo medical tests, sign the contract and complete his move to AS Roma. Deal to be announced in the next few days. #ASRoma #CFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 14, 2021
Personal terms agreed. €40m to Chelsea and NO Arsenal for Tammy. Here-we-go. ✈️ @SkySport
Although this might not be enough for you if you’re a member of the “PDF or die” crowd, a “done deal” tweet from both Gianluca Di Marzio and Fabrizio Romano is the closest thing to a 100% confirmed signing possible barring the actual club announcement, meaning that for all intents and purposes, Tammy Abraham is a Roma player.
In addition, although the rumors of a buy-back clause were confirmed by Di Marzio, the value of that clause is €80 million, not the €55 million or €60 million that had been reported in recent days, and it will only be available in the summer of 2023. That means that even if Chelsea does exercise the clause two seasons from now, Roma will be making a neat €40 million profit on the transfer: certainly not ideal if Abraham turns into a capocannoniere contender, but certainly better than originally advertised.
This signing is Roma’s most marquee signing since their purchase of Edin Džeko back in 2015, and while Džeko brought a long history of goalscoring pedigree that Abraham simply hasn’t had the time to build up in his career so far, the Abraham signing is even more of a signal of intent than when Jim Pallotta bought The Bosnian Diamond. At age 23, Abraham has already led Chelsea’s scoring charts across all competitions twice; he’s also reached double-digits in his seasonal goal tally four times (albeit twice while playing in the EFL Championship, not the Premier League). He also lifted the Champions League trophy less than four months ago, which is more than Roma can say in the history of the entire club. He might not be Romelu Lukaku (which is why Chelsea are letting him go in the first place), but he has the promise of becoming a player of that caliber over the course of the next several seasons.
On the flip side, the very nature of signing a younger striker like Abraham means that it is more of a gamble than the #DareToDžeko campaign. Although Abraham is Roma’s second English permanent transfer in as many years, English players also don’t have a history of lighting Serie A on fire, to put it mildly. Abraham could easily dispel the notion that English players and Italian football are like olive oil and vinegar with a successful season this year, but make no mistake: the stakes are high for Abraham, Mourinho, Pinto, and the Giallorossi on the whole to make this work. The Friedkin Group will certainly be hoping that Abraham is made of sterner stuff than Roma’s other recent €40 million man, Patrik Schick; there are a lot of ways in which these two transfers differ, but one way which they certainly don’t is that Romanisti will have high expectations for their new expensive forward.
We will certainly have a lot more to say about Tammy Abraham over the coming weeks, months, and years, and we’ll also have a lot more to say about Edin Džeko’s departure to Inter Milan. For the moment, though, enjoy Abraham’s highlight reel and start dreaming of what a Shomurodov - Abraham - Zaniolo front line will be able to produce under José Mourinho. Real football starring Abraham is coming soon to a Stadio Olimpico near you.