The Unstoppable Tomori

Since his arrival at Milan in January, Tomori has clearly been a standout in defense. From scoring epic goals in big games, to stopping opposition goals in every game he plays, he quickly became a favorite not only of the fans, but of Pioli's lineups. Now, with Kjaer injured, and Maignan still healing from his fractured hand, he has become the heart and soul of our defense. He is the unstoppable Tomori.

Unstoppable at either end of the pitch

Oluwafikayomi Oluwadamilola Tomori, also known as Fikayo Tomori or "Fik" to his teammates and fans, is one of the best investments Milan has made since Elliott took over. He came in January on loan from Chelsea, and Maldini wisely paid the asking price to Chelsea of a reported €28 million. Upon his arrival, he quickly gained favoritism from fans with his heart-stopping amazing tackles and incredible speed. While his positioning lacked in the beginning, he was eager to learn, and learned well under the wise tutelage of Kjaer.

In less than a year, he has learned the Italian art of defending even faster than his Italian, which is supposedly also going well. His reading of the game has greatly improved, with pretty much everyone but Gareth Southgate seeing the obvious. With Romagnoli's injuries and poor form last year, he quickly became a reliable starter for Pioli, and a fan favorite, too. For any fans who weren't already in love with him, THAT goal he scored vs. Juventus, setting a new Serie A height record for a headed goal, made him an instant hero. Ironically, he took the record from Cristiano Ronaldo and sealed a 3-0 decimation of the hated Turin rivals. Absolutely fierce.

The perfect first goal

He is already setting other records as well. Last week, against Liverpool, Tomori opened the scoring and became only the third English player to score a Champions League goal against an English side, according to @OptaPaolo. (Although did his very unfortunate own goal against them in the first leg also count for this record?) He is responsible for one of my favorite moments of the season, a brilliant double effort with Maignan. Against Genoa, Maignan remarkably punched a ball away, and Tomori had an overhead bicycle kick save that was also a goal line clearance to save the day. A defensive masterclass moment that I will never be able to forget. 

We see Tomori's value whenever he plays, no matter who he has been paired up with. Since arriving at the club, he has played as a center back pairing with Kjaer, Romagnoli, Kalulu, and Gabbia, and adapts each time no matter who he is playing with. He has been a common denominator in defense in all but one of Milan's clean sheets this season, as well as many incredible performances. With Maignan back, but not quite 100% yet, Tomori has been key to helping stop nearly everything with his incredible speed and skills. But perhaps the best way to measure his influence is to look at the matches we did not have him.

Unbelievably spectacular

He missed three games with a hip problem: Sassuolo, Atlético Madrid, and Fiorentina. While we were able to take all three points in the Champions League match with Kjaer and Romagnoli in the middle, we hemorrhaged a ridiculous seven goals against Sassuolo and Fiorentina without him on the pitch. To be fair, against Fiorentina, we had Tatarusanu in goal and Gabbia paired with poor Kjaer. Also, take into account that many of our mistakes that have led to goals have been from a lack of concentration from our midfielders or fullbacks. But based on his incredible performances this year, those six points lost and so many goals conceded may not have happened with him on the field.

Making Milan fans feel safe again

At 23 years old, and having signed a four year contract with Milan, our defensive future is bright with Tomori in the picture. The way he works so well with Maignan and our other players, as well as just genuinely being a good teammate and person gives us a lot of hope going forward. Having scored against both Juventus and Liverpool, he has etched himself into the hearts of Milan fans. Without Kjaer, he will be one of our most important players this season. He is our rock, and he is the heart and soul of our defense, the unstoppable Tomori.

This post inspired by the music of The Prodigy's "Firestarter"

Our next match is
Serie A Week 18
Milan vs. Napoli
Sunday, December 19 • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EST)

The Unstoppable Tomori The Unstoppable Tomori Reviewed by Elaine on 1:00 AM Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.