This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
After a fantastic start to the season, Fikayo Tomori has been called up to the England squad. Rather than just including him in the 25 though, Gareth Southgate should start the youngster in at least one of the two games.
On Thursday afternoon, Southgate revealed who would be travelling to the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. Four Chelsea players were selected, including centre-back Tomori.
He is one of five players in his position to be included, alongside Harry Maguire, Joe Gomez, Michael Keane and Tyrone Mings.
With the former almost certain to feature from the beginning in both matches, the Chelsea man should be chosen next to him.
With stars such as Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Jadon Sancho going forward, there is plenty to be positive about. Further back, though, there are not so many options, especially with John Stones missing.
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This is why Tomori’s rise could not have come at a better time. He may be fresh to the Premier League, but he has taken to the top flight like a duck to water and has started four times, managing an impressive average match rating of 7.35, via WhoScored.
Of course, this is not his first season in the professional game, and he has made headlines before too. He was voted by Derby County fans as their Player of the Year last term, after all.
Manchester United man Maguire is now a veteran of the side, having featured regularly at the World Cup last summer and since then.
As such, it is likely to be a shootout between the other four. If the Premier League stats are anything to go by, Tomori has to be given the chance to represent his country from the off.
Joe Gomez has started just one game in the league this term and whilst he has a big future ahead of him, it would be unfair to start him.
It would perhaps also be unwise to play him in two potentially tricky fixtures when he could be rusty. As such, it is better off comparing Tomori to Keane and Mings.
Defensively, the Blues’ 21-year-old is by far in the best form.
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An offensive contribution is something the Three Lions boss values as well, and once again, Tomori comes out on top.
He has averaged a pass accuracy of 88.7% in the top tier this campaign, while his competitors have only managed 81.8% and 77.7% respectively. The Blues’ number 29 has even managed to get himself on the scoresheet thanks to a cracker against Wolves.
If we are to go on form, then Tomori can be the only man to get the nod.
Not only that, but at 21 years of age, he is the future of this England team.
As part of Frank Lampard’s Chelsea revolution, he has shown he has what it takes to perform in one of the best leagues in the world. Stepping up to the plate for England is the next big step.