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Published 07 February 2024 4 min read
England Men's Senior Team

Fikayo Tomori: My Favourite England XI

Written by:

Frank Smith

Three Lions and AC Milan defender becomes the latest player to take on our series 

Unlike the much-debated 'best England XI,' this feature is about personal preference.

Whether it is childhood memories, the camaraderie enjoyed with fellow players or something else entirely, our ‘My favourite England XI’ series is completely down to that individual player’s lived experiences.

The latest to take on our regular feature is England and AC Milan defender Fikayo Tomori.

A Chelsea academy graduate, it will come as no surprise to see the centre back has named a healthy number of former Blues in his team.

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Goalkeeper: Paul Robinson

When I started watching football regularly, Paul Robinson was the England goalkeeper so I would probably say him for nostalgic reasons.

Right-back: Glen Johnson

I am going to try to stay away from current players with this team and this position is a tough one. I will go Glen Johnson. He left Chelsea when I was really young but I always liked him as a player.

11 Oct 2023 13:43

Passwords | Chilwell & Tomori V Ramsdale & Phillips

Ben Chilwell & Fikayo Tomori v Aaron Ramsdale & Kalvin Phillips take part in an our series called Passwords

Centre-back: John Terry

Having grown up in Chelsea's academy, John Terry was the reference for everyone, especially for defenders like me. He was the one who would show ‘this is where you need to get to’. He was a top, top defender but also a top guy too. Growing up in the academy and being a captain, he was always really good with all of the young lads when we would step up to train with the senior team and things like that.

Centre-back: Rio Ferdinand

I really liked Rio Ferdinand as a player and when I was growing up, Terry and Ferdinand were probably the best centre-back partnership in the world. Rio was fast and strong, which is how I like to see myself as a defender.

Left-back: Ashley Cole

I played with Ashley at Derby County and he is arguably the best left back we have ever had. He seemed to play every single game growing up. I would probably make him my captain too – just to give the captaincy to someone else as I have team full of captains.

John Terry made a big impact on the Chelsea academy graduates
John Terry made a big impact on the Chelsea academy graduates

Centre-midfield: Paul Gascoigne

Even though I never saw him play myself, you have to pick Gazza just because of the videos of him and how good he was. He is one of those guys that people just liked as well and was really popular with the fans. His personality, his aura…you just have to pick him.

Centre-midfield: Steven Gerrard

It was a real toss-up who to pick here but I went with Gerrard. When you were playing on the playground as a kid and scored a screamer, people would shout ‘Gerrraaarrrddd!!!’ so he would just edge it because of that!

Right wing: David Beckham 

Everyone knows how good he was as a player and what an England legend he is.

No.10: Wayne Rooney

The first tournament I remember properly watching where I understood what was going on was the 2004 EUROs and Wayne Rooney was the guy. He was the man that tournament. Everyone had Rooney on the back of their shirts at that time.

Left wing: Joe Cole

I really liked Joe Cole as a player and strongly remember the goal he scored at the 2006 World Cup against Sweden. I also used to like the sweatbands look too!

Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham have been good friends since they were kids
Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham have been good friends since they were kids

Striker: Tammy Abraham 

I know I want to stay away from current players but I have to pick my boy Tammy. My guy. He has been unlucky with injuries lately but I know he will be back here with England soon.

Honourable Mentions: I have to give a shout out to David James just because I loved how much he changed his hairstyles! Sol Campbell is another one looking back who I liked and people always talk about how Michael Carrick should have won more England caps.

Paul Scholes and Frank Lampard obviously get a mention and it was a real toss up when I went for Gerrard.

I tried to avoid picking those in the current squad but if I had to mention some of the players, then Bukayo Saka would be one. We both have Nigerian heritage and I don’t think many people know this but our names mean the same thing in Nigerian but are just spelled differently. Every time his dad and my dad meet up at games they always talk.

Obviously me and Ezri Konza played in the same youth teams together and won the U20 World Cup together so a mention for him too and Jude Bellingham, even though he is 19 or he is so mature so shout out to Jude.

I want to mention Aaron Lennon. There is a phrase ‘a player the streets will never forget’ and Aaron Lennon was one of those because he was just so fast and a proper winger.

My dad loved John Barnes so I have to mention him for my dad. Michael Owen was obviously big growing up and Peter Crouch had some big moments with England too. Emile Heskey is another one who was underrated I think.

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