FIKAYO TOMORI is still coming to terms with his ‘dream’ England call-up after a whirlwind 12 months for the Chelsea defender.
The 21-year-old, who was born in Canada and represented them at under-20 level, spent last season on loan in the Championship at Derby but has established himself in Frank Lampard’s Blues team this term.
That has earned him selection to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the Euro 2020 qualification double-header against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.
Tomori, who was picked along with Tammy Abraham and, like his in-form club-mate, is also eligible to play for Nigeria, said: ‘I’ve taken everything as it has come. This happened quite fast and quickly, but it’s been a good 12 months.
‘I’ve been working hard, listening to people, trying to improve and it’s going well. It’s a bit cliched but it’s a dream. Growing up in England and seeing players playing at Wembley, it was such a good feeling.
‘It’s indescribable. I tried to take it in as much as possible, but it was a very proud moment. I found out after the Lille game (last week).
‘The manager came up to me and said “you are going to be in the England squad tomorrow”. I was sitting down at the time and I just sat there with Tammy and Mason (Mount) smiling at me.
‘It was a crazy feeling because I wasn’t really expecting it, but I’m very happy.’
Tomori is also content with his decision to represent England rather than Canada or Nigeria.
He added: ‘The call-up solidifies that. Being eligible to play for three countries was a good thing and a bad thing. I have just taken everything as it has come and once I got that call-up to England, there wasn’t really a doubt in my mind that I was going to commit.
‘Being here now I just want to try and get my first cap, and then try and get more after that as well.’
Tomori was on holiday with Abraham during the early stages of last summer’s World Cup in Russia and the pair followed England’s progress keenly. ‘Of course I’m an England fan. I grew up here and went to school here. To be part of this is a dream.’
■ GOALKEEPER Dean Henderson was last night called up by England to replace Tom Heaton, who was forced out by injury. Henderson, who is on loan at Sheffield United from Manchester United, will link up with the squad today.