'Plenty of takers' - Paul Merson predicts summer exit for Chelsea player

The Sky Sports pundit has backed the England international for a summer switch.

Tammy Abraham of Chelsea celebrates with team mate Callum Hudson-Odoi. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Paul Merson has predicted that Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham will leave the club this summer.

The 23-year-old has struggled for opportunities under new Blues boss Thomas Tuchel, and has been limited to just 123 minutes of action in the Premier League since the German arrived at Stamford Bridge.

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In part, Abraham’s absence has been a consequence of an ongoing ankle complaint, but former Arsenal man Merson is unconvinced that the six-cap England international will have a future in west London even when he is fully fit.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday, the pundit said: "Only time will tell. I don’t know how bad the injury was but we’ll find that out over the next eight or nine games.

"For me, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I like Tammy Abraham, but he’s not going to be in the top four or five goalscorers in the Premier League, and if you want to win a Premier League, you need someone up front who is going to be in the race for the golden boot.

"I think he’ll be on his way.

"There’ll be plenty of takers, but not at one of the top clubs at the moment.”

Abraham has scored 12 goals in 30 appearances across all competitions this season, but hasn’t struck in the Premier League since Boxing Day.

As things stand, the bookies have Aston Villa as the clear favourites to offer him an escape route from Stamford Bridge this summer.

The forward previously spent a spell on loan with the Villans, who are priced at 2/1.