Despite a starring role at Frank Lampard’s Derby County, where he was named their Player of the Year (ahead of fellow loanee Mason Mount), Fikayo Tomori, unlike Mount, has not managed establish himself as a key player for Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.
Tomori may have been ever-present at Derby, and played more minutes than the vast majority of professional footballers in all of Europe, but it’s been a very different story at Chelsea.
While he did play regularly back in the fall, impressing many in the process, since Antonio Rüdiger returned from his long-term injury and Andreas Christensen rediscovered his form, Tomori has rarely featured. He’s started just 3 of the team’s last 12 matches in all competitions, and the situation seems to be trending the wrong way.
Tomori’s absence has led to plenty of questions, and a long overdue but less than impressive turn against Bournemouth last weekend, his first Premier League appearances of 2020, probably hasn’t helped.
But the 22-year-old is determined to win his spot back.
“It’s been a difficult period for me, but I’m working hard to try and get back in the team. There is a lot of competition for places, not just in my position, so there are going to be disappointed people when they’re not playing.”
“Throughout the whole season the manager has said if you train well and show why you should be in the team, he will put you in, and then it’s up to you to try and stay in the team. There have been many examples where people have come in and done well. Training is competitive and intense, and then when you get on the pitch someone is banging on the door which keeps everyone on their toes.
“I’m just staying positive, and in the grand scheme of things the most important thing is that the team wins.”
Lampard has stayed true to his word in the cases of Olivier Giroud and Kepa Arrizabalaga, and has seemingly been very fair in handing out minutes based on meritocracy all season. As we’re seeing with Giroud, that level of trust can pay important dividends.
Whether Tomori plays today or not, Chelsea have a great chance to build on Tuesday’s result.
“We’re on a high after the Liverpool result. For us to play the way we did and beat them gives us a lot of confidence. We want to take that into the Everton game. It’s another home game, in front of our fans who I am sure will be buzzing, and it’s a chance to get three points and cement our place in the top four a bit more.”
-Fikayo Tomori; source: Chelsea FC
So say we all.