Aston Villa transfer rumours: Smith's puzzling stance could cost Villa chance to sign 12-goal ace

Chelsea striker and Aston Villa target Tammy Abraham taking a rest in training

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith is having doubts about signing Tammy Abraham this summer, according to Football Insider.

What's the latest news involving Abraham?

The Chelsea forward is believed to be on Villa's list of targets for the transfer window, but Smith is reportedly unconvinced by Abraham's ability in front of goal.

The 50-year-old coach feels that Abraham is not a natural finisher, and this could mean that Villa do not push forwards with their move for the England international, who is valued at £40m by his current employers.

What are Abraham's stats this season?

Smith does not seem to be the only manager that has not been blown away by Abraham. Since his arrival at Stamford Bridge in January, Thomas Tuchel has used the attacker sparingly, starting him only twice in the Premier League.

He also left Abraham out of the squad for Chelsea's Champions League final win against Manchester City on Saturday, signalling that the 23-year-old's time at the Blues could be up.

Despite this, Abraham has still shown his worth when given the opportunity this term. He scored six Premier League goals, and netted four times during Chelsea's run to the FA Cup final.

Abraham finished the campaign as the club's joint-top scorer alongside Timo Werner, with 12 goals.

How did Abraham fare when working with Smith before?

Very well.

Smith may not rate Abraham particularly highly now, but that did not seem to be the case when the young striker was on loan at Villa Park in 2018/19.

That year, Abraham scored 25 goals during the regular season, and then netted in the play-off semi-final as Villa earned promotion back to the top-flight.

His performances under Smith led to him returning to Chelsea at the end of the season, and he went on to score 15 league goals under Frank Lampard in 2019/20.

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Is Smith about to make a transfer blunder?

It seems that he might be heading in that direction.

Smith may not feel that Abraham is a natural finisher, but the numbers suggest the opposite. Across his whole career, he has scored 125 goals in 266 appearances, statistics that most managers would be delighted with. Furthermore, according to WhoScored, Abraham scored with every 5.3 shots he had on goal in the Premier League this year, giving him a better conversion rate than Harry Kane (6) and Jamie Vardy (5.5).

Indeed, Smith's stance is all the more puzzling considering he has worked closely with Abraham before. He relied heavily on the forward to help Villa gain promotion two years ago, and Abraham has since moved up to the top-flight and found the net on 30 occasions across all competitions in the last two seasons. What has he seen that has shown him that Abraham struggles at the business end of the pitch?

Villa already have Ollie Watkins at their disposal, and he has enjoyed a fine opening Premier League campaign, having been directly involved in 19 goals. By adding Abraham to their squad, they would have a strike-force capable of pushing them towards a European place next year, but Smith's baffling opinion of Abraham looks like it could prevent this from happening. 

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