Chelsea star Fikayo Tomori has revealed his interest in following in the footsteps of John Terry and become a first-team regular for the Blues for several years.
Tomori is one of several academy graduates who has made the leap to the senior squad at Stamford Bridge this term.
Prior to this campaign, Terry was the only notable example of a Chelsea youth-teamer going on to enjoy a lengthy career in the first-team squad.
And Tomori admits that he and his peers used the former England captain as “inspiration” when they were coming through the ranks.
“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,” the centre-back told BT Sport.
“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 there [playing for the senior team] the challenge then is to stay there, to keep your place and try to impress the manager.
“The manager has been great, 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 the 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 [and play] but I’m not knocking the manager’s door down or anything.
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“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.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago