Chelsea centre-back Fikayo Tomori has revealed that he used to look up to the Blues legend John Terry’s and to use his career as a motivation to secure place in the starting XI at Stamford Bridge.
The former skipper is perhaps the most notable graduate of the Blues academy in recent years, having joined Chelsea as a youngster in 1995 and left the team after 22 years making 717 first-team appearances during his time with the West London club.
New signings were often preferred to promoting youngsters during Terry’s time at Chelsea, however, this campaign new manager Frank Lampard has handed chances to the likes of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Reece James and Tomori.
The promising English defender has made 22 appearances this campaing for Chelsea, earning a maiden England call-up in the process for the national team, and he identified Terry as the standard-bearer for all the youngsters in the Blues academy.
“Obviously we had John Terry who had made that step from the academy and he was the player I looked at when thinking of the pathway to the first team,” he told BT Sport.
“The club has really developed since he broke in to where we are now, with a lot of academy players involved. In recent years we have seen a lot of players get close to that level but probably not have a sustained run in the side like the younger players have had this season.
“So JT was the one we looked at as the inspiration that we could get a chance here at Chelsea, and that was always the motivation.”
Terry has managed to win 17 trophies during his time with the West London club, including five Premier League trophies and the 2012 Champions League titles.