The centre-back says English players can only benefit from seeking new challenges abroad – on both professional and personal levels
Fikayo Tomori has admitted that he was glad to escape his “comfort zone” at Chelsea after joining Milan, while insisting that “there’s more to football than the Premier League”.
Tomori joined Milan on loan until the end of the season last week, with a £26 million ($36m) option to buy included in the final deal.
The 23-year-old had been starved of regular minutes in the first half of the campaign at Chelsea, and opted to seek a new challenge abroad instead of continuing to warm the bench at Stamford Bridge.
He made his debut as a substitute for Milan in a Coppa Italia quarter-final clash against Inter on Tuesday, which Stefano Pioli’s side ultimately lost 2-1, and could be in line for his first start when the Serie A leaders take on Bologna this weekend.
Tomori followed in the footsteps of the likes of Jadon Sancho, Jude Bellingham and Jamal Musiala by venturing away from his homeland to continue his development, with the defender in no doubt that English players can benefit greatly from experiencing different leagues.
“A lot more people are realising that there’s more to football than the Premier League and England,” The Three Lions international told reporters after taking in his first Milan derby. “I speak to a lot of English players and they always say: ‘How come players from Brazil or Argentina move at 16, 17 yet English players don’t seem to go out of England a lot.’
“I think it’s definitely a positive that many young English players want to leave England and are willing to try something new, to learn new languages and a different style of play. That’s only going to benefit them and the national team as well.
“Going abroad gives you a different view on football as whole rather than just Premier League and England and being in the comfort zone. Being out of your comfort zone can definitely develop a person and a player as well.”
Tomori went on to reveal that sought advice from several Chelsea team-mates who had previously taken in spells in Italy before making his way to San Siro, as he added: “When I knew coming to Milan was a possibility, I spoke to a lot of players that had played in Italy: Jorginho, Emerson [Palmieri], Toni Rudiger and Mateo Kovacic, who played for Inter, so I asked him how Milan was.
“I spoke to Thiago very briefly because his English isn’t that great, but no one had a bad word to say about Milan or Serie A.”