Frank Lampard has insisted that academy product Fikayo Tomori remains part of his plans going forward at Stamford Bridge, as reported by the Guardian.
Lampard first worked with Tomori during his time at Derby County. The defender actually won the club’s player of the year award ahead of Mason Mount, who was on-loan at Pride Park at the same time, and is now a key member of the Chelsea and England squads.
Tomori’s time back with the Blues has not followed the same path as Mount’s, though. He has fallen out of favour this season, with Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma being Lampard’s firm favourites to anchor his defence.
The Guardian report that West Ham were keen on taking him on loan over the summer, a proposition that Chelsea rejected, but one that would have allowed him to play regular first-team football in the Premier League.
Though in hindsight that looks like a poor piece of decision making, Lampard has insisted that he was correct in keeping Tomori around and that he will have a purpose in his plans in SW6.
Lampard is quoted by the Guardian saying:
“I’ve got no problem with Fikayo. I rely on him. That’s clear from when I took him to Derby and how I handled him last year. He’s been a fantastic player for me. He trains very well and when he gets his opportunity, like he had when he came on against Liverpool and in the Carabao Cup, it’s important he takes them.”
Only time will tell if Lampard is telling the truth – but for Tomori’s sake – let’s hope he is.