In June 2017, it was reported that Rafa Benitez took time off his wedding anniversary to travel to England’s HQ and convince Tammy Abraham to join Newcastle United on loan.
It seemed to have worked, with it being revealed soon after that he was set to sign on loan, only for Swansea to swoop in at the last minute and win the race for the striker the Spaniard seemed to desperate to sign.
It was a bizarre decision on his part, with some claiming the night life on Tyneside could’ve distracted him (he was 20 at the time), while others claimed he was promised regular game time in Wales under Paul Clement – who he knew well from his time at Chelsea.
Either way, it was an odd decision and one that didn’t work out well at the time, with him managing just 5 league goals in a Swansea side that went down, however his rise to stardom at Stamford Bridge is proving just why Rafa Benitez wanted him.
The 6ft 3′ striker has 9 goals already this season and has looked absolutely devastating in front of goal. He bagged 49 goals during his last two seasons in the Champions with Aston Villa and Bristol City, but he’s now looking as prolific as anyone at Premier League level ahead of our trip to South West London on Saturday.
Some will say ‘but he didn’t set the world alight at Swansea’, but I think most will agree that he would’ve been a MUCH better signing than Joselu or Islam Slimani.
Many slated him for choosing Swansea over St James’ Park and some felt it was a bullet dodged after he struggled in an awful Swans side, but I think we’re all seeing why Rafa really wanted him now – especially when we were linked with £15-20m moves to sign him permanently just over 12 months ago.
Failing to sign him two years ago didn’t exactly come back to haunt us in the end, but it may do on Saturday as he looks for his 10th goal of the season at Stamford Bridge.