Tammy Abraham was deciding whether to prolong his disappointment at Chelsea when the phone rang.
It was Jose Mourinho, who was recently installed as Roma manager.
Abraham, 24, said: “I picked up the phone, ‘Do you want to enjoy some sunshine or be in the rain?’.
“I laughed. At first I didn’t think much about it. My mindset was that I want to be in the Premier League.
“I felt like it was home, being around London, around England. But I had to open my wings a little and make a choice – I chose Italy.
What a good decision it turned out to be after falling below the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.
Four goals for Roma after a £34m move, some sightseeing in the Italian capital and a late call-up for England’s two World Cup qualifiers, starting with Saturday’s trip to Andorra.
Abraham is just grateful that he listened to Mourinho.
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When the striker was rising through the youth ranks, the Portuguese were in their second round as Blues boss.
Anticipating his seventh cap for England, Abraham said: “When Jose speaks, you listen. He is a nice person and has helped me a lot.
“I have learned as much cleverly as I have in my entire lifetime. This is good.
“You need to learn from different managers. Right now, I’m learning a lot.
“It’s been great at Roma. I had one goal and it was to go out there and be the best I can be, proving my true potential to everyone.
“I had some struggles at Chelsea last season, didn’t really get a lot of minutes, but it’s time to show myself again.
“Of course there are veins. Countries haunt you on the go – and stay away from my mom’s cooking!
“It is not an easy language to learn Italian, but just the little things like, different culture, different food, going places you have never been before, all that.
“It’s all very new to me but very exciting at the same time. I have been to the Colosseum but not inside it.
“I love to learn. From a young child I have always wanted to travel around the world, learn different languages, and this has given me opportunities.”
Abraham scored a hat-trick in January in a 3-1 FA Cup win over Luton, in Frank Lampard’s final game in charge of Chelsea.
Under Thomas Tuchel, he made only seven appearances in all competitions.
He started three Premier League games, sank at half-time in two of them and was injured after 20 minutes in the other.
His Chelsea world fell apart when he was not in the squad for the FA Cup or Champions League final.
Abraham said: “The easier option was to stick around.
You can’t always be up, you need some downs and I think those downs really lift me up and make me hungry for more.
“Chelsea are a huge club, they will always compete and try to win the trophy.
“I needed to go out and prove myself. I took the decision and it was right.”
Stressed on life under Tuchel, he said: “It was tough. Things like this needed to happen to feel the real game.
“You can’t always stay up, you need some lows and I think those lows have really lifted me up and made me hungry for more.”
Abraham was not initially in Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions team, but came after Ollie Watkins was injured.
He continued: “It was a surprise. I woke up for a call from Gareth and I was still half asleep.
“I am always happy to play for my country.”
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