Aston Villa v Arsenal: Pictures
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Arsenal may have had their transfer plans scuppered by Fikayo Tomori as the ex-Chelsea star came clean on his private chat with a Gunners target. Mikel Arteta and co may curse the young defender, who now plays for AC Milan, if missing out causes their top-four bid to falter in the latter stages of the season.
Last summer, Arsenal transfer rumours suggested that they were weighing up whether to bolster their attacking options. After all, marquee frontmen Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were both beyond their 30th birthdays and the former was entering the final year of his contract.
According to The Athletic, Tammy Abraham was one of the names under consideration. The youngster had been frozen out by Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea and is believed to have grown up an Arsenal fan.
In a recent interview, however, Tomori revealed that he offered advice to his former Blues team-mate that may have steered him away from north London.
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“When [Abraham] said Roma was on the table, I said: ‘Bro this is a good league’,” Tomori recounted to The Guardian, “I felt like it would develop his game a lot.
“He has scored a lot of goals this season for Roma, they’re fighting for a Champions League spot. Definitely it’s helped him and definitely I gave him rave reviews about Serie A because I enjoyed myself so much the first six months.”
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Not long after the chat, Abraham joined up with Jose Mourinho at Roma in a £34million deal from Chelsea. Following Tomori’s advice seems to have paid dividends too as he has already racked up 23 goals this campaign, the most in the club’s history for a player in their debut season.
Boasting a striker of such firepower could have left Arsenal in an even better position than they currently occupy at this stage of the campaign. Striker woes have made Arteta’s job that much more difficult as the club opted to offload Aubameyang in January after an internal dispute, forking out £7m to terminate his contract and send him to Barcelona.
Tomori’s contribution could therefore be a telling one in a few weeks’ time as the likes of Tottenham and Manchester United wait for a Gunners slip-up in the race for fourth spot. Only Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah remain as out-and-out strikers, and both of them are set to be out of contract once the season concludes.
A daunting rebuild is therefore on the cards, and it remains to be seen whether last summer’s interest in Abraham is revisited in north London. Even if the 24-year-old does decide that one season in Rome is enough, Chelsea reportedly have a £67m buyback option which looks set to give them first refusal.
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