Tammy Abraham

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Abraham, Chelsea youngsters ‘buzzing’ for chance amid transfer ban

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Chelsea has never been a club known for building a first-team squad full of young players from the club’s youth academy — at least not in the Roman Abramovich era — but the Blues will have no choice other than to rely upon a handful of youngsters amid the club’s season-long transfer ban.

[ MORE: Pulisic admits hint of satisfying revenge in win over T&T ]

The prospect of regular playing time — even under such circumstances — has the likes of 21-year-old forward Tammy Abraham, among others, “buzzing” at the chance to make their mark and secure an important place at the club for the foreseeable future. There’s also the matter of hiring a new manager ahead of the 2019-20 season, which will afford every player, young or old, a clean slate — quotes from the Guardian:

“This year is the most important year for us. It is now or never. There will never be a better time to play the youngsters. Of course the transfer ban is probably not what the club wanted, but for us it is exciting. I am excited and I am sure the rest of the players are.

“There is a great chance for us young players, so we must get our heads down in training and go for it at Chelsea. I have already been talking to the club about preseason. I’m going to have a couple of weeks and then come back hitting the ground running. There is no better time for a young player to be at Chelsea. I am going to give it my all. With a new manager coming in, there is no better time to show what I am made of in preseason. I am just buzzing at the thought of the new season.”

It’s obviously a bit odd to hear a player speak so positively, and freely, about something as bleak as a transfer ban – especially when you consider the decaying state of Chelsea’s current squad — but perhaps more so is the disconnect which appears to exist between the club’s academy setup and the folks who sanction expensive transfer after expensive transfer rather than giving those young players a chance.

Abraham, who spent last season on loan at Aston Villa and scored 25 goals in the EFL Championship, sees himself, and anyone else who gets a chance due to the transfer ban, as potential agents of change for future classes of academy kids.

“Maybe it will change. Hopefully. Chelsea has always had a great academy. They have lacked playing them and taking them to the next level. You see the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who on the borderline have done that. We have excellent players still there and coming through who are still Chelsea players so fingers crossed if it all goes well it changes the mindset. I got thousands of messages from Chelsea fans on Instagram saying play him, play him. It is nice to have that behind you, knowing the supporters have your back. They believe in you as well. Clearly I was doing something right. Fingers crossed it all happens.”

Wild 3-goal comeback sees Aston Villa remain in playoff hunt

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Aston Villa remained within striking distance of the Championship top six with a bonkers three-goal comeback to earn a 3-3 draw against third-placed Sheffield United.

A hat-trick from Billy Sharp had Sheffield 3-0 up just past the hour mark, but the home side was not finished at Villa Park, with three goals in the final eight minutes-plus from Tyrone Mings, Tammy Abraham, and Andre Green sealing the remarkable comeback.

Sharp’s goals were all too easy, with the third capping off the comedy of errors in the 62nd minute as he remained remarkably open at the back post to head home a lofted cross by Kieran Dowell. From there, however, Aston Villa completely turned things around.

With the home side turning on the afterburners, Villa out-passed Sheffield in the attacking third 57-24 and out-crossed the visitors 14-0. They got on the board in the 82nd minute as Mings headed in a corner from close range, and bagged the second four minutes later as he tapped in the rebound of a saved Glenn Whelan free-kick.

Finally, with time winding down, Villa equalized in the fourth minute of stoppage time as John McGinn latched ontoJack O’Connell’s whiffed clear and sent in a right-footed cross from just outside the six-yard box. Green rose high above his defender George Baldock, and headed into the back of the net as Villa Park exploded.

The draw pulls Aston Villa within three points of a playoff position, although they have played two games more than most teams directly above them. For Sheffield, the dropped points are enormous, as a win would have brought them above both Norwich City and Leeds United into the Championship lead on goal differential. Instead, they remain in third two points back.

European Transfer Deadline Day wrap-up: PSG, Lyon turn to Stoke, Celtic

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While the Premier League wrapped up its business early, the rest of Europe is waiting another year to adjust to the new summer transfer window deadline.

That means there was a flurry of activity this week, perhaps highlighted by a few notable moves involving English teams sending players elsewhere.

[ MORE: Dembele sold to Lyon ]

Chelsea has sent a number of players on loan (Insert joke here).

Forward Tammy Abraham has opted for playing time over staying with Maurizio Sarri, and will go on loan to Aston Villa. Club Brugge is the destination for Eden Hazard‘s younger brother Kylian, while Charly Musonda will head to Vitesse Arnhem.

Lyon signed $23 million Moussa Dembele from Celtic, who will take Filip Benkovic on loan from Leicester City.

Stoke City has sold Maxim Choupo-Moting to Paris Saint-Germain, where the Cameroon attacker signed a two-year deal. PSG also signed Juan Bernat from Bayern Munich.

Arsenal’s Reiss Nelson signed a new deal with the club, then headed on loan to join Hoffenheim. He’ll get the chance to face Man City in the Champions League.

Man City’s Douglas Luiz is again facing work permit issues, and will head back for a second season on loan at Girona.

Tammy Abraham rescues England in Toulon opener

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It took a late finish to nab three points on Sunday, but England’s title defence at the Toulon Tournament is off an running.

[ MORE: Bale brace guides Real Madrid past Liverpool ]

The Three Lions’ Under-21 squad picked up a 2-1 win in their Group A opener against China, after having fallen behind to the Asian nation inside the opening half hour.

England, winners of the last two editions of the competition, conceded in the 20th minute to Yan Dinghao, and went into the halftime break behind 1-0.

Manager Paul Simpson and his side came out strong in the second stanza, though, and found an equalizer five minutes in through Middlesbrough defender Dael Fry‘s header.

It seemed as though England would be destined for a point, however, Tammy Abraham‘s tap-in finish in the 85th minute ensured a crucial victory to open the tournament for the Three Lions.

England will round out Group A with matches against Mexico and Qatar on March 28 and June 1, respectively.

At the Toulon Tournament, the three group winners automatically reach the semifinals, while the best second-place nation also receives a bid into the final four.

FA Cup replays: Swans hang 8, Huddersfield needs ET

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The pair of Premier League combatants contesting FA Cup replays on Tuesday combined for 12 goals, but one posted their big number in much more convincing fashion.

[ PL PLAYBACK: What’s wrong with Chelsea? ]

The other match saw a League One side advance to the fifth round.

Swansea City 8-1 Notts County

Carlos Carvalhal’s Welsh good vibes continue to pile up as Swans battered Kevin Nolan‘s League Two promotion hopefuls at the Liberty Stadium, setting up a visit to Sheffield Wednesday.

Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham sandwiched first half goals around a pair from Nathan Dyer, and Kyle Naughton and Wayne Routledge both netted in the second half before Tom Carroll made it seven.

Twenty-year old Daniel James scored his first goal for Swans. Abraham also had an assist, while Luciano Narsingh had assists on the three others first half goals.

Noor Husin scored County’s goal.

Birmingham City 1-1 (1-4 aet) Huddersfield Town

Aaron Mooy found Steve Mounie at the start of extra time to push Huddersfield Town into the fifth round and a visit from Manchester United. Town split the PL season series with United, but won 2-1 at the John Smith’s Stadium on Oct. 21 before losing to the Red Devils at the weekend.

Rajiv Van la Parra and Tom Ince also scored in extra time for David Wagner‘s Premier League visitors, who controlled the ball and chances but went to extra time without having put a ball in the goal.

England U-20 veteran Che Adams put the Blues ahead in the 52nd minute, but Marc Roberts posted an own goal to level the score in the 60th.

Rochdale 1-0 Millwall

The League One hosts roll onto the fifth round after Ian Henderson scored in the 53rd minute. Rochdale will meet either Spurs or Newport County.