International coach talks up Chelsea teenager Fikayo Tomori's potential

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The 18-year-old Canadian defender was involved in Chelsea's matchday squad for the first time on Wednesday night when he made the bench for the 1-1 draw at Liverpool.

Chelsea youngster Fikayo Tomori has been turning plenty of heads at Stamford Bridge recently, but he has also been making his mark at the international level.

The 18-year-old defender, who was named Chelsea’s Academy Player of the Year on Friday, received his first call-up to the Canada Under-20 squad in November and captained the side to a surprise 2-1 win over England in Doncaster at the end of March.

Speaking to MLSsoccer.com this week, head coach Rob Gale was quick to talk up the promising centre-back’s potential and backed him to make a big impact for the Blues and senior national team going forward.

“He loves to defend, he’s an out-and-out defender,” Gale said of Tomori. “He loves the 1-v-1 defending, he’s very good in those situations. He has a desire, an aggression about him, to win the ball back. It’s a trait we’ve almost lost in our modern defenders.

“He brings a lot of experience to our group. He’s not the most vocal of players, but that experience, you can see it in the way that he competes.”

Tomori, who was born in Calgary but moved to England with his family as a toddler, joined Chelsea at the age of eight and has since risen through the ranks to establish himself as one of the club’s most exciting prospects.

The youngster signed his first professional contract with the Blues last July, keeping him at Stamford Bridge until 2018, and was an integral part of the side that defended both their UEFA Youth League and FA Youth Cup titles last month, scoring in both finals.

He has also been a regular fixture in the Under-21 side this season, making 14 appearances, and has trained with the first-team on a regular basis over the second half of the campaign.

On Wednesday, he made his first appearance in the matchday squad when he named as a substitute for the 1-1 draw with Liverpool, and while he failed to make it off the bench on the night, his inclusion at Anfield went some lengths towards underlining his obvious potential.

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