Tammy Abraham admits to having taken inspiration from Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan while watching ‘The Last Dance’ on Netflix and is now looking to become Chelsea’s “main man”.
The 2019-20 campaign has proved to be a breakthrough one for the 22-year-old striker on a Premier League stage.
While he has taken in top-flight football before, and shown how productive he can be across a series of loan spells, it is only this season that a regular role has been earned at his parent club.
Frank Lampard has shown considerable faith in home-grown stars, with Abraham taking in 35 outings as a result.
He has recorded 15 goals for Chelsea and, despite suffering the odd low, is determined to take his game to even greater heights after being shown by Jordan what is required to be one of the very best.
Abraham told the Daily Mail: “Watching this motivates me and there's one thing that caught my mind. Michael Jordan lost a game and he made up things in his head about what someone said to him.
“That person didn't actually say it but he used that to go into the next game and to drive him on to be the best.
“The incident did happen against Liverpool where I missed a penalty and received a lot of abuse and for me it's just like Michael Jordan, it's about coming out and proving them wrong. It's about being at this club, being the main man, being the striker.
“My dad spoke to me at breakfast and he said, ‘I know you've watched Michael Jordan and you're motivated to go back to football. When you're ready go out there and do the best you can’.
“I miss football, just miss scoring goals, seeing the fans and being with my team-mates, having a smile on my face. If it's safe to do so, I want to finish the job. If not, then go into the next season.”
Chelsea, who sit inside the Premier League’s top four, are waiting to discover whether competitive football in England will resume amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Abraham is raring to go after injury, adding: “I've stayed in good shape. I'm a young lad and I don't feel I ever lose fitness.
“If there was a game tomorrow, I'd say I'm ready but I know a 90-minute game is different to going on the bike and doing 20 minutes or 30 minutes outside running. The tempo is different. You need a few sessions.”
The German Bundesliga has, as it prepares to resume this weekend, offered hope to other leading divisions that 2019-20 campaigns can be played to a finish.
England international Abraham said of a difficult situation: “Germany have planned it out well.
“The coronavirus has not been as big as it's been in England. I feel they're going the right way.
“As players, we've just got to be patient and wait for the clubs, the Premier League and the government to come to a decision about whether it's safe for us to do so. We'll take it on from there.
“If they bring back the Premier League then it's clearly safe enough to do so. If they don't then it's clearly not.”