AC Milan defender, Fikayo Tomori said football in England (the Premier League) is like basketball while football in Italy (Serie A) is like American Football.
He has played briefly with Brighton before he joined Chelsea’s senior team on July 1, 2017. Afterward, he went on loan to Hull City and then to Derby County before he established himself at Chelsea in 2019.
When he could not play regularly at the Premier League side, he decided to join AC Milan on loan on January 22, 2021. After completing the 2020-2021 season at AC Milan, he agreed to join the Italian club permanently on July 1, 2021, for a transfer fee worth €28.80 million.
Since then, the 24-year-old out of favor England international has been able to establish himself as one of the most important players at AC Milan.
So far this season, the Nigerian-born British football star has played 31 times in all competitions in which he scored a goal. The football star currently earns €1,200,000 per year at AC Milan.
In a report by the Guardian, Fikayo Tomori said football in England is more intense and reactive in nature. But football in Italy, according to Tomori, is more tactical in nature.
“In England, it’s more like basketball,” Tomori said. “Everything’s end-to-end, there’s more intensity, a lot more happens reactively. In Italy, it’s more like American football. It’s like you have ‘plays’. When the ball’s here, I need to be here. When the ball goes, I know I have to be two meters over in that direction, or be looking for this particular player …
“In England, it’s very much off the cuff and things happen so fast. You can be attacking one minute and the next the ball’s flipped over your head and you’ve got to run back 30 yards, then you’re back on the attack. Here it’s more like: ‘OK, the ball’s there, where’s my teammate? Where’s the opposition?’ If the ball goes over the top I need to be in a position where I can leave the striker and get there, but if the ball goes into feet I’m in a position to go press.”
Fikayo Tomori’s contract with AC Milan is expected to expire on June 30, 2025. His current transfer market value is €45 million.
Will Fikayo Tomori play in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar?
Despite the improvement Fikayo Tomori has enjoyed since he moved to Italy, he is yet to establish himself in England’s national team.
He was invited to the national team in September 2021 after spending almost two years away from the team. But coach Gareth Southgate has not deemed it fit to invite him back to the team since September despite his current form.
Hence, the possibility of missing the FIFA World Cup in Qatar is very high for the 24-year-old defender but the fast-rising football star understands that there are so many talented defenders competing for his position in the English team.
Tomori said: “There’s just so many talented players in my position already – [Harry] Maguire, [John] Stones, [Conor] Coady, [Tyrone] Mings, [Ben] White at Arsenal – and there’s a limited amount of positions.
“I just have to make sure I’m playing at a high level. And then when I do get called on, to make sure I’m ready. I have to focus on what I’m doing here at Milan first and foremost.”
Fikayo Tomori made his international debut on November 17, 2019. Since then, the 24-year-old center-back has made just two appearances. It will be a miracle if he follows the Three Lions of England to the forthcoming FIFA World Cup.