Chelsea journalist Nizaar Kinsella believes that the club made a big mistake in letting Fikayo Tomori leave, and that Milan won’t be able to get a discount.
Tomori joined Milan on loan with an option to buy, as Maldini and Massara worked intensely for days to snatch an option set at €28m just in case he impressed between then and June, something which sent a section of Chelsea fans into a rage, but which created a huge advantage for Milan.
A number of sources such as MilanNews have confirmed that the club’s intention is to sign Tomori outright in the event of a Champions League return as the club will invest that money to build the base for next season.
MilanLive have now spoken to Nizaar Kinsella who works for Goal.com as their Chelsea reporter.
Tomori is conquering Milan with super performances – are you surprised by his strong impact on Serie A?
“I’m not very surprised. We don’t see many English footballers in other European countries, but now things are starting to change with Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham at Borussia Dortmund, now we are seeing Tomori, then there is also Chris Smalling who did quite well in Rome. Again, I’m not surprised he’s doing well, it’s a great buy. At the time, it might have seemed like a risk for Milan to sign him, but this is one of the best defenders of the Chelsea academy. Fantastic work from the Milan scouting area, they trusted and did well.
“Sure, there is a cultural difference in Italian and English football, but Tomori is very intelligent. He is not the average footballer: he is well educated, he studies economics, he has a father who is a lawyer and he likes to lead a different life than his team-mates, we are talking about a very intelligent boy. So he can make the leap into a new league and develop well, Milan have made a great operation.
“I like him a lot: he’s fast, he’s good with the ball, he’s inexperienced but he won a Championship Player of the Year at Derby County, one of the best leagues in Europe. He is not the Premier, but it is a good start to his career to be the best player of the year for an almost promoted team and then to go to Chelsea, where he was a bit unlucky.”
Why didn’t he play under Lampard at Chelsea?
“Other defenders also had bad years with Lampard: Andreas Christiansen did badly, even Antonio Rudiger. And the same happened with Tomori, but maybe it was a problem for the coach, maybe a tactical issue. But this is just my feeling. Perhaps Lampard didn’t trust him as much as the other young Englishmen on his team.”
The option to buy is set at €28m, are there any chances that Chelsea will open at a discount?
“Chelsea have no choice because they have decided to accept Milan’s offer with the clause, but I don’t think the Blues will make any discounts. The fact that he is doing so well for AC Milan is actually a problem. If he is doing well, then Chelsea will want all the money he is worth. I think Milan need to close the year well and go to the Champions League to pay the amount.
“Chelsea will not negotiate and we have seen it over and over again, they did the same with Bakayoko too. Milan had an interest in buying him, but it was difficult and the same will happen with Tomori. Chelsea know he is a valuable player, they could sell him for 28 million without problems to another Premier League team. The Rossoneri will have to pay the full amount.”
Is new boss Thomas Tuchel following him?
“Yes he’s following him, but not too closely because he didn’t have much time. Chelsea have a lot of loans, the staff are there to follow them and send feedback to the coach on how they are doing. So what he knows is because it’s in the information he’s getting from the club, so he’s following them all and there are some really strong ones, maybe Tomori is the best.”
Do you think Chelsea regret having said yes to this operation?
“In my opinion Chelsea will receive a lot of criticism for letting him go. Yes, they have some regrets also because, in Chelsea’s perspective, the amount is also quite low. I’m sure the club is thinking they could sell him for higher figures. He is now proving his worth and I must say I think Chelsea have made a mistake.”