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The transfer window is barely open, but rumour and disinformation is never far away.
The latest concerns updates to reports that first appeared in mid-December around the future of loanee Tammy Abraham.
With stories circulating of Wolves’ apparent interest in the 16 goal striker, there appears little likelihood of a transfer playing out unless a number of specific issues can be overcome. At least not this season.
- Does Abraham wish to have upheaval & leave mid-season?
- If so, what is his valuation?
- Are Chelsea under any pressure to sell or even willing to consider a transfer?
- FIFA Article 5.3 restricts the number of clubs a player can register with in a given season.
- Regarding a change in loan destination: There are no reported desires for a change in any party and no known reason to prompt a change in circustances (e.g. lack of game time, injury, disgruntlement with management etc).
The finer detail has been examined in stories from both London’s Evening Standard [and now the local press], outlining that Chelsea have received no bid, nor have “any inclination” to sell Abraham.
Indeed, Abraham continues to develop well. And whether that development takes place at Villa Park or elsewhere, it would seem premature that Chelsea would look to offload one of their most promising attacking talents. Further, the England international is under contract (50k p/w) at Stamford Bridge until 2022.
This seems to be a position reciprocated by the player, who had it not been for a deadline day swoop by Villa (under the watchful eye of Villa’s new CEO & former Chelsea managing director Christian Purslow), is on record as stating his desire to push for the Chelsea first XI.
There’s also some technicalities to overcome.
FIFA’s Article 5.3 outlines:
Abraham has appeared for Chelsea’s under 23’s and The Community Shield.
However, whilst The Standard (link above) cites Hatem Ben Arfa as an example, it’s important not to be blinkered.
Liverpool overcame the rule when signing Javier Mascerano in 2007 by writing to request special dispensation from FIFA.
What is certain is that there is sufficient ambiguity that Villa should remain on guard; stranger things have happened in football after-all.
Individual clubs and the domestic FA of a country have not necessarily arrived at the same conclusion as FIFA around Article 5.3. This particularly seems to be the case in respect of what is considered a ‘competitive match’, with question marks around fixtures such as the Community Shield and Youth/U23 football [Source]. Therefore, this shouldn’t necessarily be relied upon.
Ultimately, Abraham is his own man and a Chelsea player.
What it brings home is that Aston Villa have to become more self-sufficient. That doesn’t just mean improving the questionable returns from our hyped academy, but also using our resources more wisely on those that we choose to bring in [E.G:McCormack & Hogan =£20m+ in fees alone].
On the one hand it is alarming to see the gulf in class of players like Abraham appearing in the Villa team, especially when comparing his attributes to others whom we’ve had glimpses of. I won’t name names.
However, perhaps it is our desperate need to lurch towards the immediate ‘finished article’ that is to Villa’s detriment?
The U23 league doesn’t sufficiently prepare our youngsters for the rigours of Championship football or the expectations of a football club that has won all major domestic and European honours. Where are Aston Villa’s equivalent’s of Tammy Abraham to be blooding in this league or [similarly] developing out on loan?
Do we continue to look to the Abraham’s, Tuanzebe’s, Bolasie’s and El Ghazi’s; nurturing talent for other clubs to benefit from or sell?
Or should we instead divert our valuable resources to buy and develop our own talent?