Thomas Tuchel has revealed there was no new injury to Tammy Abraham ahead of Chelsea’s clash with West Brom on Saturday – the striker was simply not selected for the matchday squad.
Abraham had been out since late February with an ankle problem but he passed a fitness test and was cleared to play when the Blues took on Sam Allardyce’s team at Stamford Bridge. But many assumed his injury had flared up again when there was no place for him in the starting lineup or on the bench.
It was Timo Werner tasked with leading the line and it started brightly when Christian Pulisic opened the scoring in the first half. After Thiago Silva was sent off, though, it all went to pot and Chelsea fell to a 5-2 defeat – their first loss under Tuchel.
When quizzed about Abraham, the manager said: “He was not in the squad. I have to nominate 18 players. There are tough choices to make. We take the choices of what the game demands, of what we predict, of the substitutions that we have.
“In the end, we have to select 18 players for more or less 20 positions. So we have to leave three players out and Tammy was one of the three players.
“It’s nothing personal or nothing big. He has the same chance to play every three days like everybody else.”
Having watched his side fall to a humbling defeat from the sidelines, it’s likely Abraham will get a chance to feature at some stage in the week ahead. Tuchel’s side travel to Seville to face Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday before they make the short trip across London to Crystal Palace in Saturday’s evening kick-off.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier from there; their quarter-final second leg with Porto then immediately precedes an FA Cup semi-final clash with Manchester City, so it could be a defining few weeks for Tuchel’s hopes of clinching silverware in his debut season in England.