Former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard believes Fikayo Tomori ‘didn’t really understand’ the circumstances behind the way in which his career at the club was ended.
The England international starred at Derby County while on loan during Lampard’s spell at the club and again featured prominently upon his return to Chelsea after Lampard rejoined his former club.
But, Tomori quickly fell down the pecking order after the arrival of Thiago Silva and, having hardly played during the first six months of last campaign, joined AC Milan on loan before making it permanent in the summer.
The England star has impressed since making the move to Serie A and although the Blues haven’t missed the player, Lampard does harbour an element of regret about the way it ended for Tomori at Stamford Bridge.
Speaking about the impact Tomori and Mason Mount had at Derby, Lampard told Coral: ‘They brought in a lot of energy and enthusiasm for us but I did also realise I underestimated the rest of the squad. The likes of Nugent, Keogh, Bryson and Johnson I found them all the be fantastic professionals and excellent players.
‘I am very proud of Mason Mount but it’s all down to him in many respects. His quality, his attributes, how he applies himself in training and his work ethic is special.
‘He’s building his own story and I am part of that in that I gave him a chance and I’m definitely proud of that. Fikayo was immense at Derby, growing into the season and getting better every week.
‘It was a difficult story in the end because we had too many centre-halves in the end in the second year at Chelsea and I really wanted to help him but I’m not sure he really understood that.
‘It is hard when you are at the top level because it is so cut throat and there are always difficult periods for young players.’