Tammy Abraham has been left out of Chelsea’s match-day squad for today’s FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City, football.london understands.
The 23-year-old hasn’t featured for the Blues since the 1-1 draw with Southampton on February 20. An ankle injury suffered against Newcastle United is the major reason for that as Abraham missed six matches.
However, the academy graduate, who remains Chelsea’s top scorer this season with 12 goals in all competitions, returned to full training during the international break and has since been ready to make his return.
The England international was omitted from the match-day squad for the shock defeat to West Bromwich Albion but was an unused substitute in both Champions League games against Porto and last weekend’s victory over Crystal Palace.
Abraham is Chelsea’s leading scorer in this season’s FA Cup and his goals ensured the Blues progressed beyond Luton Town and Barnsley in the fourth and fifth round respectively.
Yet he will not get a chance to add to his tally today as Tuchel has opted to leave the striker out of his match-day squad for this evening’s clash against Pep Guardiola’s side at Wembley.
The German coach has publicly insisted he has no problem with Abraham.
He said last weekend: “Tammy has had a bit of a rough time. He started twice or three times and was twice substituted for tactical reasons at half-time. He could not have the impact he demands from himself and we wish from him.
“Then he was injured and lost a bit the connection and possibility to fight for his place in the squad.
“The squad has played very well without him, we’ve had a lot of results without him. Now we’re in the decisive part of the season where it’s not so easy to bring players who are injured into the shape.
“We demand a lot of Tammy, he demands a lot of himself. And he is using every minute to convince us that he needs to be on the pitch. From there we go on and every three days there is a match. Hopefully, he stays fit and plays a key role until the end of the season.”
Given Tuchel’s latest decision, those words feel somewhat hollow.
And there will be understandable debate between now and the end of the campaign as to whether Abraham’s long-term future is away from Stamford Bridge.