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“Felt more personal”: Chelsea loanee opens up on falling out of favour under Lampard

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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel will hope that Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma will return to full fitness soon.

Fikayo Tomori reflects on his Chelsea axing under Frank Lampard

Speaking to The Telegraph (Subscription Required), Chelsea loanee Fikayo Tomori has revealed feelings of anguish at being axed by former manager Frank Lampard.

The 23-year-old came through the ranks at Chelsea before making his first-team breakthrough last season. While he was more or less a regular in the first half of the 2019/20 campaign, he fell off the radar since.

He made just five appearances for the Blues this season before being sent out on loan in January to AC Milan. The Italians can make the deal permanent in the summer for £25m.

Tomori, for his part, admits he was not given an explanation for being dropped. While he is grateful for the opportunities Lampard has given him, it would appear that the relationship ended on a comparatively sour note.

Chelsea loanee Fikayo Tomori has revealed feelings of anguish at being axed by former manager Frank Lampard.
Fikayo Tomori took Frank Lampard dropping him at Chelsea personally

“From being at 100 to literally going down to zero and then not knowing the reason why it had gone to zero, it was very challenging.”

“Maybe because of our history he thought I would accept it, but from my perspective, with that history, it felt more personal and harder to understand.”

The defender admits he felt hurt by the decision at a personal level and was unable to understand why it was happening. He goes on to admit he was helpless to change the situation despite putting in the work.

“I was trying to do extra and push myself more but, at that time, nothing seemed to work and nothing was explained to me.”

Frank Lampard gave Fikayo Tomori his first big break at Derby County
Frank Lampard gave Fikayo Tomori his first big break at Derby County

A welcome surprise!

Tomori and Lampard’s relationship goes beyond their time together at Chelsea. The player spent the 2018/19 campaign on loan at Derby County, then under the management of Lampard.

He was a regular for the Championship side as they came within a hair’s breadth of gaining promotion to the to flight. While his fellow Derby loanee Mason Mount went on to become a regular under Lampard, Tomori was not so fortunate.

Tomori has found opportunities easier to come by at AC Milan
Tomori has found opportunities easier to come by at AC Milan

The 23-year-old also goes on to admit that the move to Milan came out of nowhere. It has, however, proven to be a pleasant surprise, given he is now getting regular playtime at the San Siro.

If all goes well, he could even land himself a Serie A crown – the club’s first since 2011.

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The adversity will have toughened up Tomori who will definitely benefit from regular playing time at Milan. Whether he is still in Tuchel’s plans remains to be seen.

If his time at the San Siro so far is anything to go by, he is definitely on the right track.

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Chelsea tried to bring back Sarri before Tuchel appointment

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Maurizio Sarri Chelsea

Chelsea tried to get back Maurizio Sarri before Thomas Tuchel appointment

A rather surprising bit of news from Daily Mail (h/t The Sun) claims that Chelsea tried to bring back former boss Maurizio Sarri before appointing Thomas Tuchel. The Blues sacked Frank Lampard last month and appointed former PSG manager Tuchel.

Since then, the German manager has done an admirable job of guiding the club back to winning ways. However, it has been said that Chelsea transfer supremo Marina Granovskaia wanted to bring back Sarri after Lampard was sacked.

Frank Lampard was sacked by Chelsea in January. (GETTY Images)
Frank Lampard was sacked by Chelsea in January. (GETTY Images)

While the Italian may have been close to managing Chelsea again, he is now likely to go to Napoli. According to journalist Ciro Venerato, Granovskaia is said to have wanted the former manager back but Roman Abramovich vetoed the move.

“Chelsea, after having sacked Lampard, wanted Sarri. Marina Granovskaia, in particular, fought for his return. Sarri had said ‘yes’ to Chelsea but Roman Abramovich stopped everything. Sarri’s wife and son are pushing for Maurizio’s return to Naples.”

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This does sound surprising given Sarri was not too popular during his time at the club. He was successful though, winning the Europa League in his one-year stay. Sarri then took charge of Juventus but was sacked after one season.

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Chelsea making progress towards signing prolific 20-year-old star

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Chelsea making progress towards signing Erling Haaland

According to Eurosport (h/t Daily Star), Chelsea are making progress in the process of signing Erling Haaland. The club have talked about a potential move with his representatives.

The Blues have identified him as their top transfer target for next season and are willing to spend a significant amount on the Borussia Dortmund starlet.

The Borussia Dortmund striker has been prolific since his move to Dortmund and has attracted plenty of attention from clubs. Haaland has continued from where he left off last season, scoring an astonishing 27 goals in 25 games.

Erling Haaland is a transfer target for Chelsea. (GETTY Images)
Erling Haaland is a transfer target for Chelsea. (GETTY Images)

That has led to speculation around his future with a host of elite clubs such as Real Madrid and Manchester City after the Norwegian.

However, Chelsea could likely steal a march on other clubs as they have presented their club’s project to the striker’s representatives. They have spoken about how Roman Abramovich is likely to spend more in the coming transfer windows and push Chelsea towards silverware.

Despite spending a huge amount this season, the Russian billionaire is set to do it again. He is willing to back new manager Thomas Tuchel by signing the required players. There is a £65m release clause in his contract, which activates only in 2022.

Dortmund’s Norwegian forward Erling Braut Haaland controls the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football match BVB Borussia Dortmund v FC Bayern Munich on May 26, 2020 in Dortmund, western Germany. (Photo by FEDERICO GAMBARINI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

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Nonetheless, the German club could cash in on the 20-year-old this summer itself by demanding a figure more than the release clause, given the interest generated.

Abramovich would be better off avoiding a battle in 2022 when the release clause activates for Haaland. They must move ahead of the queue next season and splurge on the Norwegian striker.

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Rival watch – Man United boss Solskjaer provides team news ahead of Chelsea clash

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Manchester United boss Solskjaer provides team news ahead of Chelsea clash

As Chelsea get set to host Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer provided some injury updates regarding his side (h/t Football.london).

Both sides are back in Premier League action after their European commitments in the midweek but Chelsea will get some time before the game given their game was on Tuesday.

The Manchester United boss is hoping the best for four vital players who are yet to be fit for the game. After the game vs Real Sociedad, Solskjaer got a new injury headache, with Daniel James the latest name to get a knock.

Manchester United’s Welsh midfielder Daniel James (R) leaves the pitch after getting attention for an injury during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32, 2nd leg football match between Manchester United and Real Sociedad at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England, on February 25, 2021. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

“(Dan James) we will have to check on him tonight and Scott, Donny, Edinson we hope they can be available for the weekend,” he said in his post-match press conference. “Paul still out for a few weeks.”

That means Pogba has been ruled out entirely as the likes of Edinson Cavani, Donny Van de Beek, Daniel James and Scott McTominay are still in line to return. Given the form some of them were in, it would be a huge miss for Manchester United to not have them fit in time for the game.

Manchester United’s Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani plays during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, central England, on February 14, 2021. (Photo by NAOMI BAKER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

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Chelsea will feel upbeat about securing a win given their run under Thomas Tuchel which saw them beat Atletico Madrid in the Champions League. The last time these two sides met, it ended a stalemate. However, a win here could go a long way in Chelsea reducing the distance between the top-four spots.

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“This is what we go for” – Tuchel has his say on Chelsea’s important clash vs Man United

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Thomas Tuchel has his say on the Manchester United game

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has spoken ahead of Manchester United visiting Stamford Bridge at the weekend (h/t Sky Sports). He was of the opinion that this game could have a huge impact on the top-four race this season.

The Blues are in fifth place, with West Ham occupying fourth spot. Both sides play top opponents. A Chelsea win and a West Ham loss could see Tuchel’s side climb into the top-four. However, Manchester United have one of the best away records in the league and are top scorers this season.

Manchester United’s Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is seen wearing a mask because of the coronavirus pandemic ahead of the UEFA Europa League Round of 32, 2nd leg football match between Manchester United and Real Sociedad at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on February 25, 2021. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Tuchel spoke about some of the vital aspects of the game.

“Hopefully we can win – this is what we go for,” Tuchel said. “We know it’s a big challenge because of their unbeaten away record. We know what we’re up against; a team that can hurt you any second with individual quality, with speed.

They are strong away, they can defend very compact, they are very, very good in transition. It will be a big challenge to defend all this. The implication is huge, of course. If we get a win out of this game it’s huge for us. If they get a win it will be huge for them, to put a difference between us.”

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 20: Thomas Tuchel, Manager of Chelsea is interviewed following the Premier League match between Southampton and Chelsea at St Mary’s Stadium on February 20, 2021 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

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The two managers are set to face off again after Tuchel took on United thrice with PSG, twice this season itself. There was also the iconic Manchester United win in 2019 that sent the team into the quarter-finals. It will be an interesting battle.

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