FIKAYO TOMORI has revealed his frustrations battling to be relegated from the England bench.
But the AC Milan defender is the first to admit his sluggish start to the season was behind it and that he has held talks with England boss Gareth Southgate.
And he believes playing in Italy has made him “smarter” and a little more “vicious” – especially when tagging teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Former Chelsea academy graduate Tomori didn’t even make the squad for the 3-3 draw with Germany as Harry Maguire struggled in front of him and suffered another nightmare.
Tomori said: “Every player wants to play and you want to be there, but it’s an honor for me to be selected.
“I know now that I’m not quite there yet, I still have some work to do to put myself in the frame to be in the World Cup, so hopefully I can do that.
“It’s different in England because when we have time together it’s very limited.
“In between there are a lot of games where I can try to get into that squad or hopefully be in a position where I can get a few minutes on the pitch as well.
“But obviously there are things in Milan where the manager wants me to own certain positions or do certain things that I have to try and think about doing on the pitch and working off the pitch to help me get better make players and try.” be better in the structure of the team.
“Those things I spoke to Gareth about and he agreed to, so I know I have to try and improve those things and from there we’ll see what happens.”
HOW TO GET FREE BETS ON SOCCER
Centre-back Tomori, 24, still has just three senior caps despite being an integral part of the Milan side that won the Italian title for the first time in 11 years last season.
Tomori returns to Stamford Bridge for the first time since leaving Chelsea permanently in a £24million deal last summer.
The Champions League Group E clash is preceded by the new Serie A champions, who tonight parade the famous ‘Scudetto’ trophy at Wembley’s Box Park for their London-based army of fans.
Milan sit at the top of the four-team table with a win and a draw, while Tomori’s old club surprisingly struggle in bottom place with just a point.
Tomori believes the challenge of moving to Italy, where defense is an art form, has made him ‘smarter’ and a bit ‘vicious’ – particularly when he’s camouflaging currently injured legend Ibrahimovic in training.
He said: “I’m more confident. I’ve had more games so I feel better.
“I’m probably more focused during games and I’ve learned different parts of defense and how to fit into a team’s structure.
“I am more self-confident and also feel better about myself.
“Being more on the pitch helps, but small fouls or positioning yourself in such a way that the striker becomes thoughtful.
“Things like that made me a little smarter.
“When you’re defending against different types of players who are probably more evil but obviously training with Zlatan you can’t really be too shy because if you are he’s going to score 10 goals so you have to be a little bit tougher in Evil in a sense but obviously having a player like him on our team has played against the best in the world so it will improve me as a defender.
“I’m excited. I kinda knew we were going to draw Chelsea before the draw came out. It was a suspicion for me.
“I just thought it was Chelsea because I thought it was going to happen. When it came out, I remember my friends all saying, ‘You knew, you knew.’
AC Milan are hosting a special fan event “From Milan to Many” at BOXPARK Wembley in London on October 4th from 7pm with Rossoneri legends Alessandro Nesta and Daniele Massaro.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6361333/ac-milan-tomori-chelsea-ibrahimovic-champions-league/ Tomori says he learned dark arts and became an “evil” defender ahead of Chelsea clash thanks to Ibrahimovic