Chelsea winter evaluation: Traffic jam at center back

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chelsea, fikayo tomori

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 19: Fikayo Tomori of Chelsea and Joelinton of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on October 19, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Chelsea currently has four solid center backs. All could be improved on, but not massively, and all four deserve starting time for Chelsea.

Center backs have a difficult job in Frank Lampard’s system. They need to play a high line and be able to distribute the ball well, but they also need to be able to press or dribble out and put in hard tackles. It is a weird mix that is rarely seen. Luckily, Lampard has four solid options for his center back spots. None of them are perfect, but they are all good enough to start and that will create a traffic jam going forward.

Fikayo Tomori, England

Tomori seemingly only had a place at Chelsea this season because David Luiz decided fighting for playing time was too hard. Tomori was seemingly the fourth choice of four center backs but injuries quickly propelled him into the starting lineup.

He has not looked back. Arguably, Tomori has been Chelsea’s best defender this season. He is cool on the ball and he can seemingly sniff out most of the danger that comes his way. If a goal comes in, it is rarely directly a Tomori issue.

Tomori did start the season with almost one big hiccup per game, but those have mostly been ironed out with experience. The only real concern as of late is how little he has played since his illness at the start of January. Perhaps he is simply fatigued from that and the games before hand but it still seems odd that he has missed so much as of late.

That should only be a small worry at best however. Tomori is, as it stands, one half of Chelsea’s center back pair (or one third if back three stays in vogue) for the next decade.

Performance so far: Surprisingly excellent given his run pre-Lampard in the Championship. Tomori has been one of Chelsea’s best this season

Will he return next season: This should not even be a question. 

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