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Fikayo Tomori could replace Alessio Romagnoli at AC Milan in more ways than one — report

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Short-term and long-term ramifications

AC Milan v Crvena Zvezda - UEFA Europa League Round Of 32 Leg Two Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Chelsea loanee Fikayo Tomori is doing just as great at AC Milan as we had all expected from him, and over the weekend, he made his most impressive appearance yet, in the 2-1 win over AS Roma.

What made that especially headline-worthy news is that he started in place of long-time captain Alessio Romagnoli, who’s been out of form and was benched for a league match for the first time in 3.5 years. Head coach Stefano Pioli’s decision was ostensibly to send a message, but that message could be an even louder one as the club contemplate the futures of both Tomori and Romagnoli.

Milan had been baulking at Tomori’s €28m buy-option, but his increasingly impressive performances have the Italian media convinced that the Rossoneri are just playing some typical shadow games. It’s “all about Tomori” and it “would be foolish” not to do so are just some of the lines written over the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Milan had been engaged in contract extension talks with Romagnoli, which makes his poor play of late especially poorly timed. With the 26-year-old apparently looking for a hefty €2.5m wage rise on his current €3.5m per year salary, Milan may be having second thoughts and according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, are starting to contemplate alternative solutions for their captain, who will have just one year left on his contract after this season.

The calculus for Milan involves avoiding further drama with yet another Mino Raiola-managed client (following the whole Donnarumma-drama back in 2017), and while the report doesn’t expect them to get more than €20m for Romagnoli at this point, they do posit a potential player-exchange (can you see the narrative?).

Either way, Milan are fully on board the Tomori (hype) train at his point, while being as diplomatic as possible in handling Romagnoli’s situation. Of course, it’s probably still far too early to make any definitive decisions in either case, which leaves plenty of time for the rumor mill to spin this every which way possible.

But until then, while we still have hope of his eventual return, we can enjoy watching Tomori develop down in fair Milano.