Fikayo Tomori outlines difference between Serie A and Premier League football

AC Milan Fikayo Tomori has likened Premier League football to a basketball game compared to the more strategic American football-style Serie A that he has become accustomed to.

The young defender took a gamble on his career when he switched Chelsea for the Serie A 12 months ago, joining Italian side AC Milan on an initial loan deal that was made permanent in the summer.

A year later and Tomori is currently one of the first names on the teamsheet for The Rossoneri, the centre-back a prominent figure in a side that currently sit three points clear of city rivals Inter at the top of Serie A.

As a result, there was a widespread expectation that he would be selected by Gareth Southgate for the upcoming international friendlies against Switzerland and the Ivory Coast.

However, to many people's surprise, he was not picked in the Three Lions 26 man squad, meaning that he will not be able to add to his 2 England caps to date until at least the summer. Given the 24-year old's form, it feels like a significant injustice.

Style difference to blame?

Now, when asked about the difference he has found between the Serie A and the Premier League, Tomori has perhaps offered an explanation as to why, in Gareth Southgate's mind, the 24-year-old was overlooked. This comes as he revealed that the Italian top flight is far more strategic, albeit at a slower pace.

'In England, it’s more like basketball', Tomori told the Guardian. 'Everything’s end-to-end, there’s more intensity, a lot more happens reactively.'

'In Italy it’s more like American football', the defender added. 'It’s like you have ‘plays’. When the ball’s here, I need to be here. When the ball goes, I know I have to be two metres over in that direction, or be looking for this particular player …'

Whether this style difference played a role in Gareth Southgate's decision not to pick the defender will never be known, but given his form, it seems a plausible explanation.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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