Frank Lampard has promised to find ‘the best path’ for Fikayo Tomori as Chelsea confirm the loan departure of Danny Drinkwater.
Tomori has been linked with an exit this month after falling down the pecking order at Chelsea, with the centre-back having made just two Premier League appearances over the past calendar year.
The 23-year-old broke into the senior side over the first half of last season but has fallen out of favour, with Chelsea understood to have held talks with AC Milan over a potential loan move for the one-cap England international.
Lampard has now opened up on the player’s future and suggested that Tomori remains in his long-term plans, insisting the club are keen to find the ‘best path’ for a ‘developing player’ over the second half of the campaign.
The defender turned down loan moves to Everton and West Ham during the summer, while AC Milan are believed to be
“Fikayo is a developing player,” Lampard said at his pre-match press conference. “As a squad, we had four centre-backs last year but I can’t play all four in one game and you try to find consistency in different times. Fikayo was in that and then later on not so much.
AC Milan are set to announce both signings Mario Mandzukic [free agent, contract until next June] and Fikayo Tomori [he’s joining on loan with buy option from Chelsea] this week. Just a matter of time – here we go confirmed. 🔴⚫️ #ACMilan #CFC
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 18, 2021
“This year we have five centre-backs so the predicament is difficult with some of them not playing regularly and that’s why he may go out on loan for his development. He’s a young player and he’s had a huge rise in the last two seasons since I’ve been working with him. That will continue and we’ll find the best path for that.”
Lampard also spoke on the departure of Danny Drinkwater, who has signed for Turkish side Kasimpasa on loan until the end of the season with the midfielder having not made a first-team appearance for Chelsea in almost two-and-a-half years.
Drinkwater spent loan spells with both Burnley and Aston Villa last season but failed to make an impression and the 30-year-old will now head abroad as he bids to get his faltering fortunes back on track.
“It’s great for Danny to go and play for himself and get some games,” Lampard said. “I’m not considering getting players out to bring in at this point. I’m just trying to make sure the balance of the squad is right.”
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