Tammy Abraham will not have time to play just to increase her chances of making the England squad for the European Championship, Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel telling his players that their personal ambitions would not influence his choices.
Abraham, 23, is Chelsea’s top scorer this season with 12 goals in all competitions, but has found himself marginalized since the arrival of German coach Tuchel in January.
An ankle injury in the past month has added to Abraham’s woes and his hopes of making it to Gareth Southgate’s squad for the postponed Euros have steadily faded.
“I cannot make a decision on the personal goals of the players,” Tuchel said at a press conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League game at Crystal Palace, which is live on Sky Sports.
“[Goalkeeper] Kepa Arrizabalaga also aims to play for Spain but that cannot influence my decisions. I have to do what I think is best for Chelsea.
“Tammy had a tough time. He didn’t have the impact we ask for. He then got injured and lost the opportunity to play for his place. We’re in the playoff of the season, where it’s not that easy to get injured players into shape.
“It’s up to Tammy to do whatever is possible. We demand a lot of him, he demands a lot of himself.”
Tuchel also said he would not lose confidence in signing big under Kai Havertz and Timo Werner despite their recent fights.
Havertz and Werner failed to shoot following their moves from Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig respectively and were criticized after making another lackluster display in Wednesday’s 2-0 Champions League win over Porto.
“Look at the matches played by Porto. They make it difficult,” Tuchel added. “It’s not the easiest job at the start, but they had a big defensive impact, they worked hard. We won’t lose confidence. We sometimes accept that it’s hard to make an impact.”
Tuchel, whose side are fifth in the table with 51 points, one point and one place behind West Ham United, said he did not have a major injury issue heading into Saturday’s clash.