Amid Wolverhampton Wanderers‘ search for a new manager – following Bruno Lage’s recent departure – one further issue that remains at Molineux lies in the centre-forward ranks, with the club having been forced to turn to veteran marksman Diego Costa to lead the line amid their current injury woes.
The Old Gold have potentially been left to rue the mistakes of the recent past, with former boss Nuno Espirito Santo having notably come to close to landing what would have been an exciting striking addition in the form of Tammy Abraham.
Reports back in January 2019 had suggested that the Midlands side were eyeing an initial loan deal to prise the towering gem from parent club Chelsea, with Nuno and co then hoping to secure the Englishman on an £18m permanent deal at the end of the season.
While the deal had been expected to do through in that winter window – despite concerns over whether FIFA would ratify the move – the player ultimately snubbed the switch in favour of remaining on loan at Aston Villa, where he had spent the first half of the 2018/19 season in the Championship.
Wolves’ inability to close that deal has no doubt come back to bite them, with the 6 foot 5 powerhouse going on to end that campaign with 26 goals in just 42 games across all fronts at Villa Park, having previously netted the same tally while on loan at Bristol City in the second tier during the 2016/17 season.
The Camberwell-born machine’s subsequent return to Stamford Bridge also proved fruitful as he showcased his credentials in the top flight, having previously scored only five league goals during a frustrating temporary stint at Swansea City in the 2017/18 campaign.
His first full season in the first team with the Blues saw Abraham score 18 goals in all competitions under Frank Lampard, with journalist Nizaar Kinsella dubbing him “unreal” for his all-round hold-up play. That tally included a stunning hat-trick against Nuno’s side in a 5-2 thrashing back in September 2019 – just a matter of months after he had rejected a move to Molineux.
The 11-cap menace has proven a constant thorn in the side of the Old Gold over the years with six goals in as many appearances to date, with it having left a sour taste in the mouth that a deal could not be completed just over three years ago.
Although the 25-year-old subsequently fell out of favour in west London under Thomas Tuchel, a £34m move to AS Roma in the summer of 2021 has since proved particularly fruitful for the imposing striker, as he netted 27 goals in all competitions during a stunning debut campaign in Italy last term.
Frustratingly for Wolves, the Premier League side had reportedly been keen on signing the England international prior to his move to the Stadio Olimpico, having had to since watch the £96k-per-week giant blossom under Jose Mourinho.
Such has been his rise in recent years, reports prior to the summer window suggested that Abraham could well now be valued at a fee of around £100m, with that a marker of his sparkling goalscoring form.
To miss out on such an impressive asset is tough to take for any club, with Wolves likely kicking themselves that they could not strike a deal.