Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma hug after Chelsea's win against Ajax

Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma have impressed together in Chelsea’s defence this season (Picture: AP)

Kurt Zouma believes that his central defensive partner Fikayo Tomori has proven himself to be a ‘very talented’ defender since establishing himself in Chelsea’s starting line-up this season.

Frank Lampard worked alongside Tomori during their time together with Derby County in the Championship last season and opted to keep the 21-year-old at Stamford Bridge this term, after allowing David Luiz to join Arsenal.

Tomori, along with fellow academy graduates Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount, has been a revelation for Chelsea in the opening weeks of the campaign, emerging as a regular first-team starter alongside Zouma.

The pair have started Chelsea’s previous six matches in the Premier League and Champions League and Zouma insisted that communication has been key to their development as a partnership over recent weeks.


Fikayo Tomori looks on during Chelsea's win against Watford

Tomori has made 12 appearances for Chelsea this season (Picture: Getty)

Speaking to the Evening Standard, Zouma said: ‘I am chatting a lot with Fikayo. We are both young but we also have [Cesar] Azpi[licueta] on one side, Marcos [Alonso] too and Jorginho in front of us and they are experienced.

‘The thing is, the age doesn’t matter. You can see, you can play well. We talk a lot and it is all about communication. He [Tomori] is very talented. He got his first call-up in the last few weeks and he deserved it.

‘You can see the way he plays, he is very comfortable with the ball and without it, he has got pace and can defend very well, even on one-on-ones he doesn’t get beaten.

‘He is a very good player for us. Like everyone, he is working hard because the competition is hard. We just want to be on the pitch doing well.’

Although Chelsea have impressed offensively throughout the campaign with Abraham, Mount and most recently, Christian Pulisic catching the eye going forward, they encountered defensive vulnerabilities at the start of the season.

It took until the club’s tenth game of the season against Brighton for the team to register their first clean sheet of the campaign courtesy of a 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge and they have noticeably tightened up since then.

Tomori has seized the opportunity to replace the injured Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger in the heart of Chelsea’s defence impressively and the youngster received his first senior call-up to the England squad last month.

Chelsea will be looking to boost their chances of reaching the Champions League knockout rounds when they face last season’s semi-finalists Ajax at Stamford Bridge this evening.

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