Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori has questioned former manager Frank Lampard’s handling of his situation at Stamford Bridge.
The 23-year-old agreed a season-long loan with AC Milan last month, and he will leave for the Serie A side on a permanent basis at the end of the season if the Rossoneri take up their option to sign him for £25m.
When asked in a recent interview why he decided to move away from the Blues, Tomori said he had become frustrated with the lack of first-team chances, pointing to a lack of communication with Lampard:
“I was suddenly out of the squad and I don’t really know why. I just thought I needed to work hard. Then I went to speak to the manager and he said you’ve just got to train harder, so I took that on the chin and thought that’s what I had to do.”
“Mentally, it was difficult because you just want to be playing and on the pitch, and feel part of the team. And it was difficult for me because I wasn’t really feeling part of the team and I was wondering what had happened. I was trying to do extra and push myself more but, at that time, nothing seemed to work and nothing was explained to me.”
Supporters on Twitter were critical of both Lampard and Tomori in equal measure:
All on Lampard
— 𝐉𝐚𝐤𝐨𝐛𝐞™ (@Board_4PF) February 19, 2021
@RobDurham1992 look at all these players having a sulk. Bloke didn’t play a game so he’s salty
— Neelesh Ravikumar (@neelravikumar) February 19, 2021
Unfair. Deserved more chances.
— Moutasem (@moutasemhussain) February 19, 2021
Players lie too. Not making any judgement until Frank decides to say something about it
— TuChelzz (@ViceKante) February 19, 2021
Well that's bad management. Alienated players quickly for mistakes etc. no chances to redeem or rejuvenate their poor form
— Kevin J. (@CFC__Kevin) February 19, 2021
Lampard great great player for us legend, as a manager not to sure, his man management didn’t look right!
— Marcus (@marcus_rks) February 19, 2021
Embarrassing from players these days. A manager that showed so much faith in him, took him under his wings at Derby, kept him at Chelsea and simply asked him to work harder. Sorry Fikayo but you need to take some lessons on professionalism from Cesc Fabregas
— 👑n'golo 😁 rayнan👑 (@TheBlooRay__) February 19, 2021
Mann..for even cobham youngsters to be talking shots at Lamps, you know he got it all wrong
— 👑👑 (@Gheebhal) February 19, 2021
It remains to be seen whether Tomori will return to Chelsea. There has already been talk that AC Milan want to reduce the amount they want to pay for him, so don’t be surprised to see the England international back at Cobham in the summer.