Fikayo Tomori says he “didn’t think twice” about the opportunity to leave Chelsea for AC Milan.
Tomori moved to the Italian side on loan for the rest of the season earlier this month. He had fallen out of favour at Chelsea.
The defender was one of the young players to benefit from Frank Lampard’s focus on youth, but even under the now-departed coach, started to fall behind other players in the pecking order.
Having failed to start a Premier League game since February 2020, Tomori decided to move to Serie A, where he will be hoping for more gametime.
Rather than dropping down a level for a better chance of first-team action, the England international has joined a club of equally high stature.
Milan are currently top of Serie A and competition for places will be high. However, he was in no doubt when the chance to join them came up.
He told an introductory press conference: “I’m very happy to be here.
“We are in a positive moment, I want to contribute. I will give everything on the pitch, with great desire and determination.”
Tomori will have to adapt to a new league, and he already knows what he will have to consider in Serie A.
He explained: “There are differences on a technical-tactical level. The English game is more aggressive and physical, but here I have to pay more attention to tactics.
“However, I’m also here to improve, I’m ready to listen to all the advice that [Paolo] Maldini, the coach and my teammates will give me.”
Former Milan defender Maldini was one of the key figures in negotiations and it was his involvement that really convinced Tomori to make the move.
The 23-year-old added: “Maldini was one of the greatest defenders ever. He surprised me when he called me, but I didn’t think twice about it before I said yes.
“Many great defenders have played at Milan, such as Maldini, [Alessandro] Nesta and [Franco] Baresi. I want to be part of the history of Milan.
“I’m convinced I have made the right decision to come here, I want to participate in the success of Milan.”
Tomori has message for Lampard
Since Tomori’s exit from Chelsea, the club have changed coaches, with Thomas Tuchel replacing Lampard.
Tuchel’s predecessor worked with Tomori at both Derby and Chelsea, and the centre-back had a message for his former boss.
“He was my mentor, I had a great time with him. I have always been with him since I was a child.
“Now, however, I’m at Milan and I’m only focused on Milan.”
The Canada-born star is determined to make that stint in Milan a success, and thinks it is a positive that he is part of a growing group of English players plying their trade abroad.
“It’s a positive thing. Even in England, people are beginning to think that there’s not just the Premier League.
“Before, the British were not very inclined to go abroad, while it can be important to gain experience abroad.”