Chelsea‘s coach Frank Lampard stunned the world throughout the pre-season of the 2019-2020 football season and the commencement of the season proper when it became obvious that his philosophy was to stick with youngsters at the club.
Despite doubts that he might not be able to go far in the Premier League with such a philosophy, the former Chelsea midfielder was able to use the youngsters to play at the FA Cup quarter-finals and maintain the 4th spot on the league table.
Until the 2019-2020 season was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, the Chelsea‘s coach did not show any sign that he was losing faith in the youngsters he has assembled mostly from the club’s academy.
One of such football fast-rising stars who would forever remain grateful to Lampard is the club’s defender Fikayo Tomori.
Lampard worked with Fikayo Tomori, just like he did with the club’s striker Tammy Abraham until he got his first England senior national team call-up.
He gave the 22-year-old Nigerian born footballer the opportunity to play in the Champions League and all other prestigious tournaments week in, week out.
Frank Lampard Keeps Us Calm – Tomori
“Coming into this season, the young players felt we had an opportunity and the manager said he wanted to play youngsters”, Fikayo Tomori told Sky Sports.
“But being able to bounce off each other makes it a much more comfortable environment for us and we can relax and play our game. Then the experienced players like Antonio (Rudiger) and Azpi (Cesar Azpilicueta), the ones who have been there and done it, sharing a changing room with Pedro who has won everything, it makes it easier to adapt and get to learn from these players.
“Coming into [this season] I was trying to be relaxed about it all – but you’ve got your friends and family saying you’re playing for Chelsea, you’re playing in the Champions League and stuff.
“Sometimes that gets in your head, and you just think this is actually happening, it’s a dream. I try to stay focused and we’ve got the manager who’s played at World Cups and Champions League finals, he keeps us all calm and especially with the young players who are new to this stuff, there’s a lot of arm around our shoulders. The season’s been great and hopefully, we can finish it off.”
Since Fikayo Tomori returned from his loan spell at Derby County in 2019 where he played 44 times and scored a goal, he has played for Chelsea 16 times and has also scored a goal.