TAMMY ABRAHAM was joined by Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori in taking centre stage as Aston Villa took on Derby County in the play-off final.
The Chelsea trio have all shone on loan in the Championship this season and Wembley gave them the perfect platform to demonstrate to the world what they can bring to Blues first-team.
Chelsea loanees Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori do battle in the Championship play-off final[/caption]
But with promotion and a £180million prize pot at stake, the pressure was certainly on as both sets of supporters expected magic.
The cauldron of noise and colour at the national stadium was certainly as good a test as any to see whether they have got what it takes to follow Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek into the senior Chelsea squad.
It was Abraham who was left singing and dancing as Villa secured promotion back to the Prem with a 2-1 win over Derby.
But how did the each of the youngsters fare? Sun Sport was at the national stadium to find out…
The towering striker simply has to be part of Chelsea’s squad next season or he should demand a move.
Abraham, 21, has spearheaded Villa’s return back to the Premier League with 26 goals and will now be subject of a £25m offer from Dean Smith’s side.
The England international is desperate to make it at Chelsea, but surely he will know deep in his heart it’s now or never.
With the impending transfer embargo about to hit the Blues, he needs to be involved.
And that’s despite Abraham cutting a frustrated figure at times today against his big pal Tomori as he missed out on getting his name on the scoresheet.
He had to wait until after the half hour mark for opening, but that was enough to show he is a lot more than a target man as he dropped deep to collect the ball, span and weaved past the defence before opening up his body to curl right-footed just past the upright.
It was a quiet afternoon if truth be told in front of goal, but of course his height came in usual in the closing stages as Derby launched a bombardment in a desperate attempt to level.
His joy at the whistle also clearly showed how much playing for Villa means to him, and that is exactly where he should be come August if Maurizio Sarri or whoever replaces the Italian is not ready to give him an opportunity.
Tammy Abraham, who scored 26 goals for Aston Villa this season, has to be part of Chelsea’s squad next season[/caption]
The midfielder has shown everyone this season that size is not everything for Derby.
Despite his small frame, the 20-year-old’s performances have led to many comparisons with Rams boss and Chelsea legend Lamaprd.
But unfortunately for the two-footed ace today was not the occasion for him if Sarri was watching.
His attempts to hustle and bustle with the overpowering Villa midfield proved to be in vain.
And when his big moment did arrive he was unable to take it.
He had Derby’s best chance to break deadlock but blasted straight at ‘keeper Jed Steer from the right of the area after good work by Jayden Bogle.
There is a void at Chelsea for a homegrown midfielder due to Loftus-Cheek’s injury, but unless he catches the eye in pre-season, it will probably be another spell out on loan next season.
But he has clearly shown he is ready for a crack at the top-flight, and there will be a queue of clubs hoping to secure his services.
Chelsea legend and Aston Villa No2 John Terry consoles Blues loanee Mason Mount[/caption]
The England Under-21s defender will be kicking himself all night for not taking control for Villa’s winner.
His goalkeeper Kelle Roos had faffed and bumbled several times before he allowed John McGinn to squeeze between the pair of them to nod home the deciding effort.
And that will prove to be a vital lesson for the centre-half to take back to Chelsea as it put a black mark on what was otherwise an impressive performance from him.
Playing next to experienced heads such as Ashley Cole and Richard Keogh, Tomori is no stranger to dishing out the orders himself.
In fact he was often found barking at those in front of him for movement and support as he carried out the ball to try and relieve the pressure on the backline.
His battle with Abraham was fascinating, and despite the result, few could argue it was he who came out on top for large spells.
He did get done by one Tammy flick, which led to Tomori crashing into McGinn and ultimately the referee’s book during the second period.
Defender Fikayo Tomori will be kicking himself for not taking control for Villa’s second goal[/caption]
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The starlet has scooped all the player of the year awards with the Rams this campaign, following on from a fine spell at Hull City last season.
Now after learning the ropes alongside some of the veterans of the Championship, it’s time for the Blues to bring him back and let him flourish alongside their continental back four.
He has the confidence, physicality and leadership to blossom, and like his willingness to carry out the ball showed, he has no issues with continuing to develop his technical game.
And that should be with the Stamford Bridge first-team squad instead of another club again.