AC Milan’s Fikayo Tomori keen to grab ‘perfect opportunity’ to shine for England

By Sports Desk November 15, 2023

Fikayo Tomori is hoping England’s final two Euro 2024 qualifiers will present the “perfect opportunity” to spring a “stop-start” international career into life.

The 25-year-old AC Milan defender made his senior England debut in 2019 but has collected just four caps since, although he is yet to be part of a back line that has conceded a goal.

Now, for the first time, the former Chelsea youngster has been called up by Gareth Southgate for three successive squads.

 

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Harry Maguire and John Stones continue to be Southgate’s first-choice partnership at the heart of his defence but the latter will sit out the upcoming double-header against Malta and North Macedonia through injury.

That could open the door for Tomori, as well as Crystal Palace skipper Marc Guehi, to stake a claim for a more prominent role for England, especially with qualification for next summer’s Euros already achieved.

Asked how big the two upcoming games are for his own Euros chances, Tomori told BBC Radio 5 Live: “Very important. Obviously, the guys have gone through this kind of qualifying campaign really well and they managed to get us qualified early.

“So I think now that we have two games when we’ve already qualified, I think it’s a good chance for the players who probably haven’t played as much or who want to make a claim for the Euros.

“I think it’s the perfect opportunity. The last camp I managed to get a match, my first game at Wembley, which was nice. That’s a positive step in the right direction for me and hopefully this camp I can make another step and play in a qualifying game.

“Obviously John and Harry are really top players and they have been for him (Southgate) for a number of years.

“So, for me, I’m coming in and I’m just trying to push them as much as I can, show the manager what I can do.”

Tomori’s first steps on the international scene came with Canada – the country of his birth – when he represented their under-20s before switching his footballing allegiances to England.

After coming up through the ranks, he made his senior debut as a late substitute in a 4-0 World Cup qualifying win away to Kosovo.

He has since been capped once in 2021, 2022 and 2023 despite winning Serie A with AC Milan two seasons ago.

“I think it’s been a bit stop-start,” Tomori said of his England career to date.

“I think when I was 21 and I first got called up I made a few appearances off the bench… then after the Covid year I wasn’t paying as much, so obviously I wasn’t getting called up.

“Then I went to Milan and I’ve been in a few camps, out a few camps. But this season started off really well and I’ve have managed to play a few games and I’ve come to every camp.

“So yeah, it has started off well and now I just want to keep it going and play more games, get more caps.

“Most players will say once you come here, you want to stay here and when you get taste for it, you want to you want to keep building on it.

“Like I said, this season, I started off really well and this is my third successive camp. So I’m really, really happy with how things are going and I think now it’s just about staying consistent, trying to get into the next camp and the next camp and the next camp.”

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