Fikayo Tomori has confirmed that he has adapted well to life in Italy and is enjoying his time at AC Milan ahead of a return to England.
Tomori arrived at Milan in January on a six-month loan from Chelsea, where he had been struggling to get playing time. The Rossoneri managed to include an option to buy and given how he’s performed, this is crucial.
The English centre-back has quickly adapted to Italian football and Stefano Pioli’s system, even benching the Rossoneri’s captain Alessio Romagnoli. It’s clear, therefore, that he has the qualities to become a very good player.
Tomori spoke on the eve of the game against United at the pre-match press conference, with his answers transcribed by MilanNews.
Both Milan and Manchester United go into the game after important victories in the league. Are you ready for this challenge?
“Yes. We know it is an important match for both teams. It is the first leg and it will be a difficult match. We are two great teams with a great history and it will be a great match.”
Maldini said that you are a great talent and the club’s will is to keep you in Milan. How do these words make you feel?
“Obviously it is very nice to hear these things, especially from a legend like Maldini. This gives me a lot of confidence. I want to continue doing what he is doing, playing for the team and for my team-mates. The future will be seen. Hearing these words from a great defender is certainly beautiful.”
How are you finding life in Italy?
“I was expecting a different challenge, in Italy I had to get used to different things, I was worried about the language but there are those who speak to me in English and I try to speak in Italian and slowly we are getting along well.”
Did any team-mates ask you what kind of game to expect since you played in England?
“Yes something they asked me but everyone knows United. Everyone knows they are a great team. We have worked hard and analysed them. We know it will be a difficult match against a team with a very fast attack. Hopefully my experience in England. can help.”
Have you talked to your team-mates at Chelsea and about the experience with manager Tuchel?
“Obviously I often talk to old team-mates because they were not only great team-mates but also friends. We don’t always talk about football but also about other things. They are very happy and are satisfied. They are scoring and winning so they are fine. I have not heard from Tuchel. but right now he has to concentrate on Chelsea just as I am focused on Milan.”
How important is this challenge as an exam for Milan? Are the many absences a problem or a stimulus?
“Of course this is a stimulus. We have a squad and a group and everyone wants to play. We are a strong team and the substitutes for Verona have shown it. We will try to have a great game against Manchester United.”
What do you like about Serie A and Italy and what helped your acclimatisation?
“Every person here at Milanello has helped me a lot both with the language and off the pitch. I am trying to learn Italian even if it is a bit difficult. This has given me great strength to integrate into a new group and to play a great football. I’m happy and I have the opportunity to give my best for this team. I always want to raise my level. Italy is different from England, the weather is good and the food is better.”