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Fikayo Tomori is ready to surprise for England after learning to defend – and swear – like an Italian in AC Milan’s adventure

FIKAYO TOMORI could walk down any English high street unnoticed, but life will never be the same in Italy.

The centre-back inscribed himself in AC Milan lore by helping a side of underdogs win the club’s first Serie A title 11 YEARS.

Fikayo Tomori is a true San Siro hero after helping AC Milan to the Serie A title

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Fikayo Tomori is a true San Siro hero after helping AC Milan to the Serie A titlePhoto credit: Getty
Tomori's impressive form in Italy has earned him a recall in England

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Tomori’s impressive form in Italy has earned him a recall in EnglandPhoto credit: Getty

If you look at the state of Chelsea’s defence, you must regret the £25m clause that allowed him to leave at the San Siro last summer after a successful loan.

Tomori has now earned a deserved return to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for four UEFA Nations League games, starting with a trip to Hungary tomorrow.

He was part of Stefano Pioli’s young squad alongside 40-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who unexpectedly beat Inter Milan by two points to the Scudetto thanks to a 3-0 win over Sassuolo on the final day.

And the 24-year-old has benefited enormously from being at the club where legendary centre-back Paolo Maldini, 53, is a technical director.

Tomori said with a hell of a grin, “A lot of people didn’t believe that we would actually do it and win the title.

“For us in the dressing room, it was sweet for all of us to have that relief and joy – to prove people wrong and that we’re a good team.

“It was just crazy. The celebrations were like nothing I have ever seen before. So many people.

“It was like a three, four, five kilometer train from fans – but it took hours on the bus. Stop at all traffic lights.

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“Of course I saw the fans down in Milan, but seeing everyone on the streets like that all afternoon I can’t really describe it, just crazy. I enjoy it and am really happy. When I went abroad there was talk of English players doing this or that, but I just tried to embrace it as best I could.

“When I got there everyone was so helpful and helped me settle in.

“It has helped me adapt and I want to continue to develop and improve as a player.

“Hopefully we can build on what we’ve achieved and keep winning.”

Tomori has fully embraced life in Lombardy and as he has shown in numerous interviews his Italian is already excellent. It’s an example of how well he’s adapted to life abroad, having left the club he joined aged eight after just 15 Premier League starts.

Tomori learned from legends like Paolo Maldini in Milan

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Tomori learned from legends like Paolo Maldini in MilanPhoto credit: Getty

Intelligent and articulate, he added: “Obviously they all spoke Italian, so I really wanted to learn Italian to settle in.

“I thought it was really important to communicate and now we only speak Italian. It’s not perfect and I’m still learning, but it’s part of the experience.

“Being in the dressing room is easier than having a tutor just because everyone is talking. In the showers, in the locker room, on the pitch.

“You just get things. I obviously hear a lot of swear words! Other words and vocabulary.

“Many players have helped me and some of them speak English, which was helpful when I first joined.

“But now we mainly speak Italian, so everything is going well.”

More importantly, in his 30 Serie A starts, Tomori has proven he’s perfecting the art of defense – with a little help from Maldini.

He said: “First and foremost, the manager helped me figure out how the team should play.

“You just get things. I obviously hear a lot of swear words! Different words and different vocabulary.”

Fikayo Tomori

“Even individually and as a team, as he wants us to defend.

“In that regard, I’ve learned several things. The way this league is, the refs whistle a lot more – so you can’t dive in. When you engage in a duel, you have to win the ball.

“Anyone who is aggressive has to really tackle it. Stay on your feet and make sure you are in the correct position. I learned more and had to think about my positioning.

“I speak to Paolo – he is there every day. Sometimes he asks me how things are going and talks to us defenders as a collective.”

Tammy Abraham also had a great season with Roma – but unlike Tomori, he was reluctant to leave England.

He added: “I was ready to do something different. Obviously it’s AC Milan, so I was like, ‘When do I leave?’ I always had the idea of ​​where to go abroad and see what it’s like. So when it came to that, I was all in.

“Tammy did well. When we played them we won both times, so that’s good enough. I’m glad he came to Rome, came to Italy and did so well. Now he flies.

“We both enjoy it. In Italy I don’t think ‘I wish I was in England’. I feel really comfortable here.

“I’m in no hurry to get home when I have a day off. I feel comfortable and relaxed in Italy.”

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/5479868/fikayo-tomori-england-ac-milan-maldini/ Fikayo Tomori is ready to surprise for England after learning to defend – and swear – like an Italian in AC Milan’s adventure

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