‘I know for a fact’: Rio Ferdinand says player Chelsea sold last summer was wrongly left out of his national team

Rio Ferdinand believes Fikayo Tomori should be fuming at not being called up to the latest England squad.

Speaking on his own YouTube channel, Ferdinand supported the notion that the AC Milan defender should’ve been selected by Gareth Southgate for the two friendly fixtures.

Southgate named a relatively reshuffled camp ahead of the games against Switzerland and the Ivory coast, mainly because of injuries.

Tyrick Mitchell earned his first-ever introduction to the entire England set-up, having previously missed out on all the other age groups.

Kyle Walker-Peters was also included for the first time, whilst Ollie Watkins and Fraser Foster were added late.

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How didn’t Tomori make it?

Marc Guehi made his senior Three Lions debut against the Swiss, following a fine season at Crystal Palace.

However, another player who Chelsea sold last summer was not so lucky.

Tomori left Stamford Bridge a month before Guehi to join Milan in a deal worth £30m (Guardian).

Photo by Claudio Villa/AC Milan via Getty Images

The 24-year-old has taken to life in Serie A like a duck to water, playing a prominent role in the Rossoneri’s rise to the top of the table.

Yet, despite repeatedly impressing across the continent, Southgate has yet to entrust the Cobham academy graduate with full England responsibilities.

Which is strange considering the country’s centre-back situation is not the strongest.

“I know for a fact Tomori will be sitting there with his people going ‘I’m near the top, if not the top, of Serie A and performing week-in-week-out and they are not picking me. The pressure I’m under at AC Milan compared to all these other guys, can’t compete. I should be in the squad’,” insisted Ferdinand.

“That’s how you want them to think, he should be thinking like that. Don’t sulk.

“Carry on doing what you’re doing. There’s no point in sulking about it. Go and do your thing. Or go and find your next country if you’ve got the ability to do that. Wilfred Zaha did it.

“Tomori, he can’t do no more than what he’s doing there to get recognised.

“Listen, Gareth Southgate has had him in squads before, so he’s obviously seen something.”

Compared to his compatriots

The main sticking point for Tomori’s exclusion is his direct competition for a place in the team.

Southgate picked Guehi, Harry Maguire, Conor Coady, Ben White, Tyrone Mings and John Stones as his centre-halves for the pair of recent matches, with the latter withdrawing after the first encounter.

Photo by Alex Pantling – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Of that selection, only Guehi, Coady and White have a strong case to be involved on the basis of their club form.

Whilst Maguire rather wrongly endured a chorus of boos from a section of Wembley last night, it cannot mask the fact he has underperformed for Manchester United this season.

Meanwhile, Tomori has remained consistent in a league where defending is sacred.

Just think about that when you’re naming the final 23 for the World Cup, Gareth.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.