Jose Mourinho is turning me into ‘a monster’, Tammy Abraham reveals

The former Chelsea striker wants to become a go-to for England and knows he needs to perform at a higher level domestically for that to happen

Karl Matchett
Monday 15 November 2021 13:54

England forward Tammy Abraham says his move to AS Roma in the summer is helping him improve his all-round game, thanks to manager Jose Mourinho’s pointers.

The 24-year-old departed Stamford Bridge for Serie A as he bid to make himself a first-choice No9 at club level and boost his international chances, having been down the order of preference under Thomas Tuchel.

He has five goals so far for his new club, but tellingly he has already played almost as many minutes in 2021/22 for Roma as he did in the whole of 20/21 at Chelsea, where he barely featured from March onwards.

Asked what Mourinho has told him to lead to an improvement in his game, Abraham pinpointed that he needed to be a more difficult striker for defenders to deal with, not in terms of technical ability but his nature on the pitch.

“Just be a monster really!,” he said.

“I think one of the things he said was I was too much of a nice player and that you have to show that aggressiveness as you’re getting older as a striker.

“It’s not always about being nice on the pitch. You need that character, you need that presence to frighten defenders and I think that’s something I’m learning and getting better at.”

Detailing further his switch from England to Italy, Abraham revealed his motivations in testing himself overseas and acknowledged that fighting for a place in England’s squad for Qatar 2022 was partly a consideration.

“It’s always tough, moving and going to experience a different country and different culture.

“I felt the sooner I settled in the better, and started learning different types of football and different styles. I’ve gone to spread my wings and hopefully I can keep up the level of performances I need to stay in the team.

“Of course [the World Cup] was in the back of my mind but really I just wanted to play football. For me, it’s still a young career and I just felt I needed to go out and play some games to improve and hit the highest levels and hopefully I can keep striving on.”

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