Fikayo Tomori’s move from Chelsea to AC Milan at the beginning of the season was the latest in a long list of young English footballers to seek opportunities abroad for the good of their career. In the aftermath of recent success stories from the likes of Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham, the 24 year old opted to turn his loan move at the San Siro into a permanent deal with the Italian side paying £25 million GBP (approximately $32 million USD) for his services.
“I honestly don’t know why it’s taken so long for players to think about moving abroad,” Tomori tells HYPEBEAST. “Over the last few years especially, I think players have finally started to realise there are other ways to make a name for themselves away from the Premier League.”
Despite the defender’s rise in Serie A, it was the Premier League which initially saw Tomori impress. Born in Calgary, Canada, the defender moved to South East London just shy of his first birthday, before joining the Chelsea Academy seven years later. After making his professional debut in the final game of the 2015/16 campaign, Tomori was later loaned to Brighton, Hull City and Derby County (where he was named Player of the Season), before returning to Chelsea under the leadership of then-manager Frank Lampard. Despite a bright start, Tomori was soon forced to look overseas for first-team opportunities, but just two seasons and a permanent deal later, he hasn’t looked back.
“For me, moving to Milan was actually a pretty easy decision,” he explains. “As English players there’s always a market for us in the English leagues, but for me personally the opportunity to come to Milan, learn something different and come at football from a different angle was something so unique and something that can only help our national game as a whole”.