AC Milan legend Franco Baresi has thrown his support behind AC Milan centre back Fikayo Tomori after he missed out on a place in Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad.
Tomori has impressed for Milan this season and the club are currently top of Serie A as they fight it out with Napoli and cross-city rivals Inter.
Milan have not won the Scudetto since the 2010-11 season and finished runners-up to Inter last season.
And Tomori has played a key role helping Milan top the table at this stage of the season and Baresi has praised the centre back.
The 24-year-old initially headed to Italy on loan from Chelsea last season, but did enough for the Rossoneri to activate his £25million release clause from west London club in the summer.
And after AC Milan’s 1-0 win over Cagliari at the weekend, Tomori and French centre back partner Pierre Kalulu went through the month of March without conceding a goal. In fact opposition sides only had seven shots on goal in the four games in the month.
And as a result Baresi - who made over 700 appearances over a 20 year career at the San Siro - is predicting big things for the 24-year-old.
Speaking on behalf of BT Sport - the exclusive broadcaster of Italy’s Serie A in the UK and Ireland - Baresi said: “I believe he has really shown his skills and his quality this season and he really understands the club and the way we play football here.
“He is a really good personality around the club and he has great strength to play in such a difficult role but he has really shown that he deserves to stay at the club beyond his loan.”
But despite these words of praise from one of the best central defenders to have played the game, Southgate opted not to pick Tomori for England’s upcoming friendlies with Switzerland and Ivory Coast at Wembley.
Tomori has won two caps for England in 2019 and 2021 and Baresi was surprised the centre back was not called into the current squad.
He added: “I and everyone at the club was very surprised he was not called up by England.”
While Baresi was miffed at Tomori’s England omission, he did not want to get drawn into comparisons with his own style of play.
Baresi won six Serie A titles, three European Cups and a hosts of other domestic honours during his 20 years with the club, but has said comparing the two is not fair.
He added: “No, it is never good to do these sorts of comparisons. He is his own player and every player is different.”
AC Milan go into the international break on top of Serie A three points ahead of Napoli and six ahead of Inter - but have played a game more than their city rivals.
BT Sport is the exclusive broadcaster of Italy’s Serie A this season, with several live matches broadcast every week. For more info, visit btsport.com
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