Fikayo Tomori has reflected on the reasons why he was left out of the picture at Chelsea under Frank Lampard.
His fall down the pecking order in the Blues defence was a hard watch. A bright performer under Lampard at Derby, before the duo came back together at Stamford Bridge.
The 23-year-old was handed his chances by Lampard last season, not enough in many eyes, but he nonetheless featured 22 times for the Blues in all competitions.
It was his first year in the top-flight and it was something to build on, but then it all went downhill. Tomori only featured for the Blues once in the Premier League this season, coming off the bench at half-time against Liverpool all the way in September.
Left out the squad, but was told to train harder however his position in the side didn't change. After near moves to Everton and West Ham in the summer, Tomori's scenery did change, finally departing under Lampard to join AC Milan on loan in January.
Tomori spoke to the Telegraph detailing his frustrating and challenging time being left in the dark.
"I was suddenly out of the squad and I don’t really know why," Tomori said. "I just thought I needed to work hard. Then I went to speak to the manager and he said you’ve just got to train harder, so I took that on the chin and thought that’s what I had to do.
"Mentally, it was difficult because you just want to be playing and on the pitch, and feel part of the team. And it was difficult for me because I wasn’t really feeling part of the team and I was wondering what had happened. I was trying to do extra and push myself more but, at that time, nothing seemed to work and nothing was explained to me.
"It was so frustrating. 2020, football-wise, was very, very difficult, especially after the way 2019 had gone for me playing games. From being at 100 to literally going down to zero and then not knowing the reason why it had gone to zero, it was very challenging."