Fikayo Tomori is on the verge of joining Leeds United on loan until the end of the season.
The 23-year-old England international has featured just three times for Frank Lampard’s side in all competitions this season. This includes one solitary league appearance from the bench.
Tomori’s situation has been unexplainable. The young defender fell completely out of favour after an excellent start to his Chelsea career. With Lampard preferring Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, Tomori fell to fifth choice defender once Thiago Silva was signed from PSG.
Chelsea are sure to be offloading one central defender in January and it appears that man will be Tomori.
With injuries to Robin Koch, Liam Cooper and Diego Llorente, Leeds’ central defensive options look thin. Therefore, Marcelo Bielsa will be keen to strengthen his options and Tomori fits the bill as a short-term option.
He is available immediately and could go straight into a Leeds side struggling for options in defence. With the second-worst defensive record in the league, improvement in this area is essential if Leeds want to establish themselves in the top half of the league.
With his speed and passing ability, Tomori ticks many boxes for a defender for Marcelo Bielsa.
The youngster managed 1.9 tackles and 2.8 clearances per 90 in 2019/20, showing a capability to cope well in a high defensive line. This ability will be essential if he moves to Leeds since their defenders are faced with counter-attacks on a regular basis.
Bielsa’s Leeds are notoriously attack-minded, especially for a team with relatively limited resources. Such is their domination of the ball, defenders must be able to pass the ball well. Tomori’s 87.4% pass completion in 2019/20 highlights his efficient use of the ball.
Tomori is certainly a suitable profile to play in Leeds’ system. His speed, passing ability and recovery tackling are all necessities when playing in the way Bielsa does.
Tomori’s availability is clear with Leeds the favourites to secure the defender. Newcastle are also linked with the Chelsea man, however, Leeds are the better option from a footballing perspective.
However, the deal could be threatened by Frank Lampard’s tetchy relationship with Marcelo Bielsa.
The infamous Spygate scandal saw the rivalry between Lampard and Bielsa heat up significantly. Chelsea and Leeds’ historical rivalry shouldn’t scupper the move but Lampard’s history with Bielsa could be a stumbling point.
However, if the Leeds loan were to go through, Tomori would benefit significantly. It would be a good move for all parties. Both clubs and the player himself should be desperately trying to force this move through until the end of the season.