Fikayo Tomori had his breakthrough last year at Chelsea. Due to the transfer ban, the Blues could not sign new players and many expected them to use players from the loan army. Tomori also benefited from Frank Lampard’s appointment at the club. The duo had precision worked together at Derby where the Englishman was on loan.
Thus during the first half of last season, he was a regular under Lampard. Tomori’s highlight of that season would be the game at Stamford Bridge against Liverpool where he pocketed Mo Salah, though Liverpool won 1-2. However, in the second half of the season, Lampard gave him the cold treatment. He did play a few games and he performed well but that wasn’t enough as Lampard continued to sideline him.
Even this summer he was heavily linked with an exit from the club. It was speculated that he might leave the club on loan. He had an opportunity to leave on loan on the deadline day with West Ham the interested party. However, he rejected the move in a bid to win his place back in Chelsea’s lineup. It looks like Tomori must be surely regretting not signing for West Ham.
As of this season, he has been limited to three appearances in all competitions. Out of which two have been in the Carabao Cup. The third appearance was a forced substitution against Liverpool when Andreas Christiensen was sent off and he was subbed in. Apart from that, he has been on the substitute bench for Champions League games.
Tomori looking for more playing time on loan
At the age of 23, Tomori needs game time to reach his full potential. He has already shown that he has the capability of playing week in week out in the Premier League. Thus he would like to play at the highest level possible. The Premier League is the highest level at which he can play and there are Premier League clubs interested in him.
According to BBC, Leeds is the most likely destination for the youngster. The Peacocks have done very well this season, considering they have been promoted in 2020. On a particular day, they can smash five goals and in the next game, they can concede five. Marcelo Bielsa would definitely like to improve the defensive aspect of his team.
For Tomori game time has been limited as the likes of Thiago Silva, Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen, and Antonio Rudiger. While Leeds lost Robin Koch to a long-term injury thus they need a new defender as the German is likely to be out for three months. Though it is not clear whether Chelsea will allow him to leave permanently or on loan.
It is clear that he has now fallen out with Frank Lampard, however with Lampard’s job hanging by a thread, Tomori might prefer a loan deal. If he joins Leeds Bielsa will be a fantastic manager for him and he can improve his game under him. There is still plenty of time in the market perhaps other clubs in England or abroad might show interest in him.
The 12th Man Opinion
While the exact reason for Tomori’s cold treatment has been revealed by Lampard. However, on the face of it looks baffling. Last season despite being the youngest centre back, Tomori was Chelsea’s best centre back. It is understandable that he won’t be consistent because he is young but more than anyone else Lampard should understand that.
He has shown so much patience with Mount, while the latter still gets cold feet against top teams and gives average performances. This season as well despite Zouma and Silva being in such good form, Chelsea are still conceding goals. Perhaps a chance should be given to young Tomori who can learn and perhaps not make the same mistakes. Rudiger and Christensen have been given that chance but Tomori has been sidelined.
How many defenders in world football can say that they have pocketed Mo Salah? Not many even this is not good enough to persuade Lampard, then might not be anything. A young defender playing so well against a top forwards indicates that he has the potential to become one of the best. It is Lampard’s task now to bring out the best in him, provided he does what Lampard asks him to do.
However, it hardly looks like Lampard is interested in him. It would be better for him to move away and fulfill his potential. Perhaps a loan move would be better given, Lampard’s position at the club is under serious threat. If a new manager comes in he will be able to impress him next summer, as he would have match fitness and more experience.