Tammy Abraham has suggested he has no regrets about not moving to Wolves in January.
The 21-year-old striker was part of Aston Villa’s Championship play-off winning team that beat Derby 2-1 at Wembley on Monday to join Wolves in the Premier League.
Abraham now returns to Chelsea after his season-long loan expired, having scored 25 goals in 37 League games for Villa.
The England Under-21 international’s future will be the subject of plenty of debate. He has three years on his contract at Chelsea, who are under a transfer embargo for the next two windows, while Villa might push for his permanent signature given his success there.
It’s not clear if Wolves will make a renewed bid for him, but they have already joined the race for Albion striker Salomon Rondon, who has been a huge hit on loan at Newcastle, and has a £16.5m release clause in his deal.
Abraham was on the verge of joining Nuno Espirito Santo’s side in January. The loan move was approved despite the prospect of him playing for three clubs in a season – Chelsea, Villa and Wolves, after he appeared in the Community Shield final and Under-23s for the Stamford Bridge club. FIFA ratified the move, saying they do not consider those two competitions relevant when considering matches played by players.
“It looked like I was going to Wolves,” said Abraham. “I think certain situations happened with the FA, something about playing for three teams in one year or something like that.” In the event, Wolves didn’t appear to miss what Abraham could contribute as Raul Jimenez topscored with 17 goals in all competitions and Diogo Jota hit double figures from December 5 onwards.
Abraham admitted Villa manager Dean Smith persuaded him to stay and be part of something special, although the team were well off the pace at that point. Villa made the play-offs on the back of a club record 10 straight wins to finish fifth before overcoming Albion in the play-off semi-finals 4-3 on penalties after the tie ended 2-2 on aggregate.
The striker was omitted for a 3-0 FA Cup third round defeat at home to Swansea as speculation persisted about his future. But he put that behind him to score nine goals in his final 17 Championship outings following his recall the next week for a 3-0 defeat at Wigan, and also netted the winner from the spot in the 2-1 play-off semi-final, first leg win over Albion.
“The coach spoke to me he said: ‘Listen, stay here, we believe in you, the boys believe in you, the fans believe in you and we’ll get promoted’. I am glad I did,” added Abraham.
“It wasn’t my first choice to come to the Championship, but I don’t look back on it (badly). It has been a fantastic year for me and the boys as well, and to clinch it off we got promoted.”