From a spare part at Chelsea to starting for the Serie A leaders, it’s been quite the turnaround in fortunes for Fikayo Tomori who received warm reviews following his full debut for AC Milan on Saturday.
Tomori made his first appearance for the Rossoneri in midweek as he replaced the injured Simon Kjaer after 20 minutes of the Milan derby against Inter.
The strength of that performance, and the ongoing absence of Kjaer, led Milan coach Stefano Pioli to keep the 23-year-old in his XI against Bologna in what was, somewhat remarkably, his first league start of the 2020/21 season.
Tomori completed the full 90 minutes as Milan claimed a 2-1 victory through an Ante Rebic goal and Franck Kessie penalty, with Andrea Poli claiming an 81st minute consolation for the hosts.
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Milan were indebted to a fine late save from Chelsea-target Gianluigi Donnarumma to safeguard the three points but it proved a confident and assured debut for Tomori.
The 23-year-old had 81 touches of the ball – more than anyone else on the pitch – and completed 89.7% of passes, again a team might, admittedly against a side who have won one of their 10 matches.
Tomori will though, of course, be judged on his defending and he was busy and effective off the ball, with three interceptions, three successful tackles and four clearances – more than any of his teammates across all three categories.
There were some question marks over his positioning for Poli’s strike, as Tomori was drawn to his goalline rather than occupy the space to which the Bologna midfielder then advanced into to score.
But Milan fans seemed to be impressed by what they saw from Tomori who has only arrived in Italy on January 22 and has had to learn quickly on the job.
Milan hold a £25million buyout clause on Tomori which has led many Chelsea…