Monday, December 5, 2022

Breaking Down Fikayo Tomori’s First Full Season As A Chelsea Player And What To Expect From Him

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Nikhil Vinodh
Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.

When it was announced prior to the start of the league campaign that Frank Lampard would be appointed as the new manager, most Chelsea fans presumed that this season would need to be written away, as they even had a transfer ban to deal with at the time. As was expected, the Blues’ first fixture in the Premier League ended in a 4-0 disaster against Manchester United. It was after that tie that Lampard actually began to get to grips with the situation and the job at hand.

While the names of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi were being hailed around Stamford Bridge regularly, one player whose campaign went under the radar last season was English youngster Fikayo Tomori. The centre-half had never made a first-team appearance for Chelsea before the start of the current campaign, and to say that he’s slotted into the side efficiently would be heavily underplaying the actual situation at hand.

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 22: (L-R) Antonio Rudiger, Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori of Chelsea celebrate during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on December 22, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

How Did Fikayo Tomori Make A Name For Himself?

The Chelsea centre-half has been a member of the Blues’ youth system at Cobham since he was a little boy, and Tomori grew up in the same side as the likes of Mount and Abraham. The relationship they share obviously had a massive part to play in their collective selection for the first-team this year, but even Tomori will not argue with the fact that it was his spell at Derby County last season that impressed Lampard. The Chelsea legend was the manager of the Rams last season, and both Mount and Tomori were regular starters for the men in white.

The Englishman played in 56 fixtures for the Rams last season, in a run which saw them enter the Championship playoffs at the end of the season, only to be beaten by Aston Villa in the final of the competition. His exploits at the back were quite extraordinary, as the defender even managed to find two goals over the course of the campaign. Having played 15 times for Chelsea in the league this season, Tomori has been a fairly important member of the first-team, albeit irregularly.

HULL, ENGLAND – JANUARY 25: Fikayo Tomori of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the FA Cup Fourth Round match between Hull City and Chelsea at KCOM Stadium on January 25, 2020 in Hull, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

What Makes Tomori Such A Good Option At The Back For Chelsea?

The 22-year-old is claimed to be the quickest player in the Chelsea dressing room – in a squad that also includes the likes of Hudson-Odoi, Willian and even Christian Pulisic. Tomori’s energy and enthusiasm make him a good option in matches against smaller teams, where he would have time on the ball to understand the situation and in turn, make the right pass.

Although Tomori does have a tendency to dive into challenges, playing alongside one of the best in the league in Antonio Rudiger is sure to have a positive effect on the Englishman as well. He is one of the best headers of the ball in an attacking sense, while the goal he scored for Chelsea in the league was a moment worth marvelling at. Tomori is yet to nail down a place for himself in the first-team, but given the rate of his development, that doesn’t seem like all too far away.

What Should Fans Expect From Tomori In The Years Ahead?

The 22-year-old has continued to go from strength to strength since the start of the season, and in his 15 Premier League appearances this term, only on one isolated occasion did he put up a below-average display. This level of consistency is uncommon with defenders, meaning that the Blues have currently got a keeper on their hands. Tomori has proven with his exploits this season that he deserves to be given the opportunity, and in due course, expect the youngster to make one of the starting roles at Stamford Bridge his own.

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