Fikayo Tomori shared with the Telegraph that Frank Lampard sent him a message not long after he’d left Chelsea to join AC Milan.
The pair had forged a good relationship during a productive spell at Derby County and when Lampard became Chelsea’s boss last season.
It was he who recalled Tomori back to Stamford Bridge and gave him a starting role in the senior side.
But this affiliation seemingly turned sour as Lampard increasingly left out the 23-year-old from his team selections.
This consistent exclusion only gave Tomori one option. He had plenty of interested Premier League parties but opted to join AC Milan on loan instead.
Upon reflection, the young defender had mixed feelings towards how he was treated by Lampard during this transfer saga.
“I will always be grateful for the opportunities he gave me,” said Tomori.
“Maybe because of our history he thought I would accept it, but from my perspective, with that history, it felt more personal and harder to understand.
“I don’t know what happened, it wasn’t really explained to me. Soon after joining Milan, the manager sent me a positive message.
“It was an unusual situation – I wasn’t at Chelsea anymore and he wasn’t the manager. With all he had going on, it was a nice thing to take the time to do. I appreciated that.
“I wouldn’t say there is a bad feeling, it just is what it is. I’ve learned to look forward and I’m stronger for the experience.”
Lampard lost his job not so long after it was Tomori’s departure was announced, with off field dilemmas marrying the on-pitch problems as well.
Although it seemed surprising at the time, this move has worked out brilliantly for Tomori.
He’s featured four times for Milan, which included his debut against Inter in the Coppa Italia quarter final.
With Thomas Tuchel replacing Lampard, some may have though there was still a future at Chelsea for Tomori.
However, in his press-conference, the German admitted ‘he didn’t spend too many minutes thinking about Tomori’ when he took over.