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Official: Chelsea Academy Player of the Year Fikayo Tomori joins Brighton & Hove Albion on loan

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Chelsea Academy hopeful heads out on his first loan.

Fikayo Tomori is one of the more promising young defenders in the Chelsea system, having already made his first-team debut at age 18 in the final game of last season, playing the final 30 minutes of the 1-1 draw against Leicester City. It was the perfect finishing touch on a very impressive season from the youngster, which saw him named the club’s Academy Player of the Year.

Now 19, Tomori has been well overdue for the next step in the standard Chelsea development process. On Monday, that step was finally taken as the versatile defender joined Brighton & Hove Albion on loan for the rest of the season.

Brighton, currently in second the Championship by one point but with a game-in-hand over Newcastle, are one of the odds-on favorites to achieve promotion at the end of the season. Manager Chris Hughton hopes to utilize Tomori mostly as a full back.

“We have brought in Fikayo on loan from Chelsea to provide us with some additional cover in the full-back positions, and we are delighted to welcome him to the club.”

"He is a highly-rated young full-back, by both Chelsea and England; he is predominantly a right-back, but he can play in any position across the back four, and will give us good defensive cover for the first-team for the second half of the season.”

"Currently we have a few minor injury issues in the full-back positions, so his arrival will also allow us to send Rob Hunt out on loan to gain valuable playing experience; at this stage of Rob's development, it will benefit his long-term progression to be playing regular senior football."

-Chris Hughton; source: BHAFC

Hopefully Tomori will indeed get his fair share of minutes. Good luck to him and the Seagulls!