Frank Lampard’s Chelsea may be having some growing pains, at both ends of the pitch but especially in defending, but one of the breakout stars of the new season has been center back Fikayo Tomori.
And, rightly so, with just 18 months left on his contract, the 21-year-old is next in line for an extension, with Goal reporting that negotiations have entered an “advanced stage”.
Those who had been following Tomori’s development closely over the years probably aren’t surprised by any of this. His talent was evident as he progressed through the Academy and then found success on loan, first at Hull City (despite playing right back) and then Derby County, where he played practically every minute and was named their Player of the Year.
Having returned to Chelsea alongside his former youth coach Jody Morris and of course Frank Lampard, Tomori was still facing an uphill battle this summer. Antonio Rüdiger, David Luiz, Andreas Christensen, and Kurt Zouma were all ahead of him on the depth chart and another loan was not out of the question. But a couple injuries (Rüdiger, Christensen) and a shock transfer (David Luiz) later, Tomori found himself starting alongside Zouma and actually establishing a decent and improving partnership. And while question marks remain over the long-term viability of Zouma and Christensen as Chelsea-level players, Tomori looks like a player we can build around at the back for many years to come. (The aforementioned two looked like that for a bit as well, in fairness. Alas, no one can predict the future with complete accuracy.)
Tomori is out with a hip issue at the moment, but should be back soon. With Rüdiger finally healthy as well, hopefully we can make some inroads on shoring up our defensive line at long last.
Sign him up!