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Tomori aiming for statement display on Chelsea return

Gareth Southgate or his assistants will likely use the match on Wednesday night to see the Italy-based defender in the flesh against English opposition.

Having spent 15 years at Chelsea after the age of eight, the match holds both professional and emotional importance to Tomori, who is bidding to make the England squad for the World Cup in Qatar.

“Every footballer has a point to prove. Coming from Chelsea, being English there is probably added motivation,” Tomori told reporters. “I know now that I’m not quite there [on the plane to Qatar], I’ve still got some stuff to do to get myself in the frame to be there for the World Cup, so hopefully I can do that.

“There are a lot of games between now and then for me to try and get in that squad or hopefully be in a position where I can get some minutes on the pitch as well. There are things in Milan where the manager [Stefano Pioli] wants me to be in certain positions or do certain things that I need to try and remember to do on the pitch and work on off the pitch to make myself a better player and to try and be better in the structure of the team.

AC Milan defender Fikayo Tomori will face former club Chelsea in the Champions League

/ Getty Images

“Those things I spoke to Gareth about and he agreed, so I know I have to try and improve those things and, from there, we will see what happens.”

Now 24, Tomori left Chelsea initially on loan before the move was made permanent for £25million after he was frozen out by former manager Frank Lampard. The three-cap England international has gone on to play a pivotal role at the San Siro, helping Milan to win their first Serie A title in 11 years last season. Still, he holds a deep bond with his first club.

“I kind of knew we would draw Chelsea before the draw came out so the fact it has happened now is really exciting,” he added. “It was a suspicion for me. When it came out I remember my friends were all saying ‘you knew it, you knew it!’.

“I played with Mason [Mount], Reece [James], Trevoh [Chalobah] coming up through the academy and so seeing them again … I just saw Mason, Reece and Chilly [Ben Chilwell] just a couple of weeks ago on international duty so seeing them again will be nice.

“Raheem [Sterling] as well so I think seeing everyone again will be nice. Even Jorginho, I saw him again against Italy so it will be a nice reunion of sorts but it is just trying to think of it as another game.”

Tomori added about his Chelsea exit: “I would have liked to have been on the pitch more. It didn’t happen for whatever reason, I was itching to get back on a pitch and be playing.

“Milan gave me that opportunity and now I am here. For me, it’s another chance to see some familiar faces to show how I have developed. I know people have watched the games but going back to Stamford Bridge, where it all started, is a chance to show myself again.”

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