It was a weird year, 2020, and 2021 is set to be even weirder, probably, but amid all the tragic, momentous, and just simply flabbergasting global events of the past 12 months, Fikayo Tomori’s situation continues to baffle as well.
Here’s a player who had gone from the Player of the Season on a Frank Lampard-managed team to a player who can’t even get a look-in as a backup center back at a Frank Lampard-managed team. From first-choice to firmly fifth-choice in less than a year, and with no apparent hope of being given a chance to climb out of said position.
On the eve of his expected loan move to AC Milan, Tomori’s fall and predicament remain shrouded in mystery. When asked about it today, Lampard spoke only in vague terms.
“I don’t think there’s any ‘when did it start to go wrong’, Fikayo’s a developing player.
“As a squad we had four centre-backs last year, and you can’t play four in one game. And you try to find consistency at different times. At one point Fikayo was in that, and then later on not so much.
“And this year we have five centre-backs, so the predicament is difficult for centre-backs who are not playing regularly. And that’s why he may go out on loan for his development.
“He’s a young player and he’s had a huge rise in the last two or so seasons since I’ve been working with him, and that will continue, and we’ll find the best path for that.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London
Well, thanks for that insight, Frank.
Lampard’s obviously under no obligation to give actual reasons or details, but it sure could be helpful if he did. If nothing else, it would add a bit of weight to his otherwise hard-to-believe proclamations of Tomori still having a long-term future at Chelsea. The (unconfirmed as yet) buy-option in Tomori’s loan deal, apparently insisted on by the player himself, speaks at a much higher and clearer volume.