Tomori: We all looked up to Terry
(Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Chelsea centre half Fikayo Tomori has said that John Terry was an inspiration to himself and many others in the academy having worked his way from the youth set-up to the first team.

The blues legend won five Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups, a Europa League and a Champions League in a seventeen-year spell.

Tomori claimed he was a measure of the success possible for Chelsea's academy graduates.

  • "JT was the one we looked at as the inspiration"

"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 Rio Ferdinand for BT Sport in February.

"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.

"Once you get their [playing for the senior team] the challenge then is to stay there, to keep your place and try to impress the manager."

  • "He put his trust in us from day one"

Amidst a transfer ban, manager Frank Lampard has put faith in academy graduates like Tomori, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham and they have become key parts of a Chelsea side that sit fourth in the table.

Tomori and Mount worked with Lampard and assistant manager Jody Morris at Derby County last year and helped the Midlands reach the Championship play-off final.

"The manager has been great", Tomori continued. "Certainly with me and the younger players. He put his trust in us from day one, even earlier for me and Mason [Mount] because he took us on loan with him to Derby.

"He has confidence to play the younger players if we are performing well in training, he gives us that opportunity and that's massive."

  • "I feel that I'm ready to come back in"

Despite featuring heavily in the side for most of the season, Tomori has seen less playing time of late, due to injury and impressive performances from Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma and ​​​​​​​Antonio Rudiger featuring in his stead. 

The England international remains confident that he can regain his place in the side once the football season resumes.

"I feel that I’m ready to come back in [and play] but I’m not knocking the manager’s door down or anything.

"I want to show him on the training ground with my performances and attitude and I trust the manager to decide when it is right for me to play.

"I’m still young, I’m still learning and it’s the football that does the talking​​​​​​​."