On Sunday, Fikayo Tomori became the 717th player to make an appearance for Chelsea, coming on as a substitute in the 60th minute as the latest academy grad to make his first-team debut. It's a token gesture for now, sure, but it was nonetheless a fitting end for his season, one that has seen him play a key role in both the FA Youth Cup and the UEFA Youth League triumphs, while winning the Academy Player of the Year award as well.
What. A. Day. Proud to make my Chelsea debut today vs Leicester in front of the home fans at Stamford Bridge to cap off a great week!— Fikayo Tomori (@FikayoT19) May 15, 2016
His joy at his debut is palpable in his post-match interview with Chelsea TV as well. I especially liked his blow-by-blow account of the substitute experience, making sure to stay loose and building up to the excitement of getting his number called by the manager. Congrats, young'n!
As always, now that Tomori reached this point in his development, the tough questions and decisions have to be made. Does he stay in the academy for another season? (He may have learned all that he can at that level already.) Does he go on loan? (Always a tricky situation.) Does he stick around with the first team? (He didn't look out of place on Sunday, but how many opportunities would he get, really?) There are no easy decisions or obvious answers and Fikayo himself doesn't really know yet either.
But there's time to figure it out this summer. Until then, maybe a spot on the pre-season tours?