Fikayo Tomori Gets England Cap
21-year-old Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori made his debut for England this weekend, officially cap-tying him to the Three Lions.
Fikayo was previously eligible for three countries: England, Nigeria, and Canada.
Tomori was born in Canada to Nigerian parents, though his family moved to England when he was still an infant. As a product of the Chelsea academy system, the now-Premier League player previously represented Canada at the U-20 level. He earned three caps for Canada’s U-20 side in 2016, which included a 2-1 victory over an England side featuring Marcus Rashford.
Shortly afterwards, Tomori switched over to the England youth system, making 35 appearances in total for the country’s U-19, U-20, and U-21 sides. When he turned 21 and could only hope for senior international action, there was much speculation about which of the three eligible countries Tomori would declare for, with the defender stating he wouldn’t ultimately rule out representing Canada at the senior level.
With Tomori having just made his senior international debut in the dying minutes of England’s 4-0 victory over Kosovo this Saturday, the Calgary-born player is now officially cap-tied to the Three Lions. He’s also had a breakout season for Chelsea, where he’s made some 14 league appearances in the Premier League (and 4 in the Champions League), scoring his first EPL goal against Wolverhampton back in September.
With Canada recently conceding four goals against the USA as the country suffered an embarrassing setback to its goal of making the Hex, Tomori’s debut for England will likely rub a little salt into the wound for fans of Les Rouges.
Another Calgary-born defender, Dominick Zator, was called up by Herdman ahead of the CONCACAF Nations League bout, though he didn’t feature in the match. Amer Didic, another tall Canadian Premier League defender currently based in Alberta, also sat out the game on the bench.
Herdman had made a controversial decision in deploying Bayern Munich youngster Alphonso Davies at left-back, which is a decision many fans felt may not have been the right move. Still, Herdman believes that the system can work, implying that Davies will continue to be utilized in that position when on international duty.
With Canada’s attacking lineup featuring an explosive growth of talent, Herdman will need to find a way to keep a backline that hasn’t seen the same level of drastic talent growth from being caught-out. Only time will tell whether this is ultimately successful, or how these choices will impact the country’s potential path to the 2022 World Cup.