Unhappy and under-utilised in London, Fikayo Tomori took a gamble that not many English players do when swapping Chelsea for Milan in January 2021.
Looking to revive his suddenly falling stock, his chance to do so came at none other than San Siro, with Milan in need of defensive reinforcements.
A sleeping giant suddenly on the up, impressing in Milan was no easy feat, and yet Tomori did so immediately. His Serie A debut was a 90 minute outing against Bologna, an authoritarian display which demonstrated his class.
With stats from Opta (via MilanNews), Tomori marked his league debut with the most blocks (4), interceptions (3) and the most balls played (81). It was a performance that oozed confidence and showcased tremendous amounts of ability; two things that have embodied his growth into one of Milan’s most pivotal players.
Tomori’s first Milan goal came in a vital win over Juventus, and his loan became permanent that summer. Since then, he’s blossomed as the heart and soul of Stefano Pioli’s defence.
Forming a duo with veteran Simon Kjaer, Tomori has stepped up seamlessly in the absence of his partner, resembling a natural leader for whoever is chosen to sit beside him.
A visit from Bologna will give Tomori his 54th appearance in Milan colours, according to Transfermarkt, and a solid performance brings Milan one step closer to a first Scudetto since 2011 – a telling tale of just how quickly the 24-year-old has become indispensable.