Paolo Maldini is one of the greatest defenders to ever play the game, and while playing ability doesn’t always transfer to administrative or scouting (or managerial) abilities, he would presumably know a good defender from a bad one when he sees one.
So when he says that Fikayo Tomori would be “perfect” for their system, we should certainly take note. Of course, it’s a bit too late for any of that, since Tomori’s on his way to Milan to join the Serie A leaders for at least the next six months (on loan), and possibly much longer (not on loan).
Maldini, who’s now the technical director of the only club he ever played for in his beyond-legendary career (from age 10 in the youth team to, 900+ professional appearances later, age 41), confirmed the impending arrival of the Chelsea youngster in an interview with Sky Italia a couple hours ago.
“We wanted Fikayo Tomori also last summer. He’s always been one of our targets. He’s perfect for our squad — we’re working on the last details.”
-Paolo Maldini; source: Sky Italia via Evening Standard
Those last details probably center around the exact amount of the rumored €25-30m buy-option, which could very well mean that Tomori’s exit isn’t just a temporary one, especially if he ends up contributing to Milan’s unlikely Scudetto. The Rossoneri have a three-point lead over Antonio Conte’s Internazionale one game shy of the halfway point of the season.
As much as it’s disappointing to see Tomori leave, this move is certainly ambitious and potential very rewarding for him. The biggest concern would be playing time of course, just as it has been at Chelsea, but with Simon Kjær leaving tonight’s 2-0 win over Cagliari with an injury and Alessio Romagnoli suspended, the 23-year-old Chelsea man could be in line for a quick debut this weekend against Atalanta, even!
And if nothing else, he can pick up some tips from Maldini for the future!