Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori could be blocked from leaving the club on loan in the January transfer window with his team-mate Andreas Christensen set for a spell on the sidelines, reports claim. Tomori has been restricted to just 45 minutes in the Premier League this season and has not featured competitively since a Carabao Cup shootout defeat to Tottenham in September. With several centre-back options ahead of him, he has been linked with a temporary move away as he seeks regular game time.
But Frank Lampard will put the brakes on such a move after Christensen suffered a blow to his knee in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw against Aston Villa, according to the Sun, with the Blues boss now short of defensive cover. Tomori was part of a youth revolution last season in Lampard’s first year in charge as he was given opportunities to shine at the heart of Chelsea’s defence while the club were under a transfer embargo.
But he became a peripheral figure in the second half of the 2019-20 campaign and has fallen way down the pecking order after the signing of experienced former PSG centre-back Thiago Silva.
Kurt Zouma, Antonio Rudiger and Christensen are also ahead of Tomori in Lampard’s thinking, but the under-fire boss will be keen to have four centre-backs available for selection as he bids to haul his side up the Premier League table. eLeeds emerged as one of the favourites to take Tomori on loan after Marcelo Bielsa contends with an injury blow of his own in defence. Centre-back Robin Koch came off during their 3-1 loss to Chelsea – also with a knee injury – and could miss the next three months following surgery.
The Whites have struggled defensively during their up and down start to life back in the top flight and Bielsa will be keen to secure more depth and quality in that position.
Newcastle have also been mooted as a possible destination and are said to be interested in the 23-year-old, with Steve Bruce coming under fire after a series of poor displays at the back.
Tomori, who played 22 times for the Blues last season, has been with the club since 2005, having joined at Under-8 level.
He has been loaned out to Brighton, Hull and Derby in 2018 – where he first made a name for himself in Lampard’s first coaching role.￼