After completing the permanent signing of Christian Atsu this week, it appears that Newcastle may not yet be finished doing business with Chelsea this offseason. Multiple sources have reported that the South London club have offered Newcastle the opportunity to negotiate a loan deal with striker Tammy Abraham for the upcoming return to the Premier League. Chelsea plan to secure the England Under-21 international to a new long-term deal and sending him out on loan before trying to integrate Abraham into what is currently a loaded first-team squad at Stamford Bridge. The reports state that Brighton has also been offered the ability to take Abraham in for the season.
Abraham, 19, spent last season on loan with Championship side Bristol City, making 41 league appearances for the Robins and leading the team in goals. Newcastle fans can be forgiven for not noting Abraham in its matches against City, as Abraham played a forgettable first match and sat out the second due to squad rotation; however, Abraham finished second in the Championship in scoring, tying Dwight Gayle’s 23 goals and chipping in three assists in the year.
In offering Abraham on loan to Brighton and Newcastle, Chelsea is indicating the belief that Abraham has proven himself to be above Championship competition and ready to face Premiership defenses on a regular basis next season. It’s easy to see why – in addition to his scoring production, Abraham is a physical specimen, standing 6’4” with more pace than is usually expected of someone his size. Abraham also possesses good strength for a player his age and should be able to hold off Premiership defenders.
For Newcastle, Abraham should be seen as a complementary piece to a front line led by Dwight Gayle. Abraham would be able to either start or come off the bench and provide defenders a different look and level of physicality from what they may have expected while not dramatically altering Newcastle’s overall style of play, as Tammy is just as keen to draw fouls, do his work in the penalty area and be an indirect set piece threat as Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrović. Abraham also has a tendency to play off the shoulder of the last defender but does get caught offside often, a trait that will likely dissipate with age but may be exposed against more complex top-flight back lines.
Should Newcastle successfully land a loan deal for Abraham, they will hope he is able to replicate the success of past Newcastle attacking players joining on loan, including Loïc Rémy and the newly-signed Atsu while avoiding the fates of players like Luuk de Jong and Seydou Doumbia. Given the opportunity, United would be smart to bring in a player like Abraham, whose lack of a transfer fee will allow funds to be allocated toward bolstering the back line while still providing proven quality and depth to the Newcastle attack.