England manager Gareth Southgate has said that Fikayo Tomoriâ€™s selection for the Three Lions resulted from the fact that he has been performing consistently over the past year. The young centre-back made his breakthrough under manager Frank Lampard in late August and he has since been an undisputed starter in the Premier League and Europe.
Speaking in a press conference, Southgate reserved praise for Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, who has taken the incentive to offer opportunities to a number of young players. He added that Tomori has been on the radar since his under-20 World Cup success with the Young Lions and the upcoming internationals will allow him to have a close look on the centre-back.
He said: â€œI think whatâ€™s been great for us in terms of England is to see Frank [Lampard] as a coach getting an opportunity at a big club and heâ€™s playing a lot of young English players. Fik was in our Under-20s when they won the World Cup and has played very well, so we think itâ€™s a good time to have a closer look at him and work with him.â€
The Blues started off the season with Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma as the preferred central defensive partnership with Tomori acting as the back-up. However, Tomori has been able to leapfrog ahead of Zouma over the past month but there have been occasions where the trio have played together in a changed 3-4-2-1 formation.
Antonio Rudiger is expected to return from a groin problem after the forthcoming break but Lampard has clearly stated that Tomori can be regarded as a starter regardless of the Germanâ€™s comeback. The Blues are scheduled to face Southampton on the road before the international break. They can potentially jump into the top four, should the other results go their way.