Joe Cole believes Chelsea fans will be “breathing a sigh of relief” as Tammy Abraham returns to the side against Aston Villa this evening.
The England striker is back in Frank Lampard’s starting line-up as the Blues look to bounce back from their surprise defeat to West Ham at the weekend.
Abraham was replaced by Olivier Giroud against the Hammers, but the Frenchman failed to make an impact as Chelsea suffered a 1-0 defeat.
But the 22-year-old returns to face Villa this evening, and Cole – speaking as part of Amazon Prime Video’s midweek coverage – believes Abraham’s presence will not only provide a boost on the pitch, but will also galvanise the club’s fans.
“It didn’t surprise me because I know the lad, I know how he trains, and I know what he’s capable of,” Cole said.
“We’ve been used to at Chelsea is the likes of [Andriy] Shevchenko, [Fernando] Torres, [Didier] Drogba, [Diego] Costa, these big names, but we’ve gone for a young player now.
“Tammy Abraham has come in, and we have to trust in these young players.
“What he does Tammy, he gives you such a hunger on the pitch to score goals. This kid, when he scores goals in training, when he taps one in from three yards, he celebrates.
“I think that’s why he’s galvanised the club, he’s galvanised the fans, and it just shows you how important it is that he’s back in tonight, and the fans will be breathing a sigh of relief because they think now ‘that’s us, that’s our identity.’”
Chelsea boss makes five changes in total to tonight’s side as he looks to bounce back immediately from Saturday’s surprise defeat.
As well as Abraham, Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, N’Golo Kante and Willian are also recalled to his starting line-up.