It’s no surprise that Chelsea are in the market for a defender or two or many, as the defence have been largely porous and at times even truly awful this season (you’re welcome, West Ham). But if there are player(s) incoming, there will be player(s) leaving as well. That also shouldn’t be a surprise.
However, what could be surprising is that the player (possibly) most likely to leave is highly promising youngster, and one of the bright spots of the early season, Fikayo Tomori.
That’s according to the Athletic’s review of the situation, which builds on the recent (and steadily increasing) Declan Rice rumors. If Rice (or any other centre back) does come, one of Antonio Rüdiger, Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma, or Fikayo Tomori will have to make way, permanently or otherwise.
According to the Athletic, it’s Tomori who’s closest to the chopping block despite signing a new five-year contract in December. “It is believed” that Chelsea are considering sending him back out on loan for next season in light of his poor form in the second half of the season, which was evident in his last appearance for the club, in the 2-2 draw against Bournemouth back in February.
Despite his precipitous fall down the pecking order — just three appearances since January, two in the FA Cup — Tomori has a very high ceiling and surely a big future ahead of him, so the report claims that Chelsea have “ruled out” anything more drastic than a loan for the 22-year-old. Loans are hardly surefire solutions of course, but if Tomori can find a good situation like at Derby County last season, where he was named the Player of the Season, he should be able to thrive and recover his form and confidence.
One noteworthy bit of speculation from the report is that Chelsea could offer Tomori in part-exchange for Rice, which could be a win-win solution in the long run for all involved.
Declan Rice vs. Newcastle [West Ham rank]— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) July 5, 2020
65 touches [1st]
53 passes attempted [1st]
44 passes completed [1st]
39 forward passes [1st]
21 final third passes [1st]
9 ball recoveries [1st]
4 tackles attempted [3rd]
4 tackles won [=1st]
3 chances created [1st]
Can do it all. pic.twitter.com/oYCunVW7a2