Thomas Tuchel believes Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori possesses “high potential”, with talks concerning the individual future of the club’s typically strong loan contingent to be held in the coming weeks.
The versatile academy graduate, 23, played regularly during Frank Lampard’s first season in charge at Stamford Bridge, though was restricted to just four appearances across all competitions in 2020/21.
Such a lack of opportunites led to a loan exit during the January transfer window, with AC Milan swooping to reinforce their defensive options for a Serie A title push.
Tomori - who won his only senior England cap to date against Kosovo in November 2019 - has thus far impressed at the San Siro, though it remains to be seen what the future holds for the former Brighton, Hull and Derby loanee beyond the end of the current campaign, with former boss Lampard previously insisting that he still has a long-term future in west London.
A strong showing at Milan may increase calls for Tomori to be given another chance to establish a regular first-team role at Chelsea, though that may no longer be possible with the Rossoneri’s loan deal containing an option to make the move permanent in the summer for a fee of around £25million.
Asked about Tomori during a press conference held before his in-form side visit Southampton on Saturday, Lampard’s successor Tuchel said: “To be very honest, I have not spent too many minutes thinking about Tomori, not because I don’t like him or I don’t see his potential but because there was simply not time. Every minute I spend here at Cobham is a minute for the guys who are here.
“It’s tradition at Chelsea that many players are on loan and get minutes somewhere else when they cannot make it to regular minutes in here. This is good because it’s always the target for me to have players who can make it in different circumstances, who can show their qualities in different cultures and different clubs.
“It’s always a good sign so we will have this talk in the next weeks and months about all the guys who are on loan. Of course, I have a general impression of Tomori which means that he has high potential but I’m not into all the details right now.”