Fikayo Tomori warns Christian Pulisic that Serie A can be more difficult than the Premier League and names Milan‘s new leaders, including Rafael Leao.
The English centre-back spoke at a press conference from Los Angeles on Wednesday on the eve of a friendly encounter with Juventus.
Tomori has reunited with his ex-Chelsea teammate Pulisic this summer as the American midfielder completed a permanent transfer from Chelsea earlier this month.
“We’ve known each other since Chelsea and we’ve talked a lot,” said Tomori, as quoted by Sky Sport Italia.
“I’ve told him that Serie A is really difficult. Tactically and in terms of details, it is more difficult [than the Premier League]. He is feeling well with the team and hopefully, we can have a great season together.”
Pulisic is one of the many new signings made by Milan this summer. They have already welcomed seven new faces, including Samuel Chukwueze who will be announced as a new Milan player on Thursday.
“We feel on the pitch that we have a strong team. We want to win again because we didn’t do what we wanted last season,” said Tomori.
“Now, also thanks to new players, we are strong and keep improving.
“We are Milan and we want to win. We didn’t do it last season but we want to do it this year,” he continued.
“We have new players and I think we can win. We are aware of our qualities.”
Rafael Leao is taking an even more central role after his contract extension and is seemingly becoming a leader of the Rossoneri.
“We have all improved a little and Rafa is becoming a man,” noted the ex-Chelsea centre-back.
“Of course, we listen to him when he speaks and I am happy we can see his maturity, I hope he can bring this mentality on the pitch.
“I like to communicate on and off the pitch. There were many experienced players when I arrived here and they helped me, now I want to do the same thing with new players. I like this role, I enjoy helping the new players settle in. I want to do my best to help the team. There are players such as Calabria and Theo. Oli [Giroud] also speaks a lot, Mike [Maignan] is a professional and is always focused on games.”
Coach Stefano Pioli had already named Maignan as Milan’s new dressing room leader following Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s retirement.
The Rossoneri lost 3-2 to Real Madrid on Sunday in a match that saw Tomori give the ball away in his own half, leading to the Merengues’ equaliser.
“There were positive things even if we lost. It was a good test and, especially in these games, we can make the most of errors to improve,” he said.
“We must take the positives and learn from the negatives.”
On Thursday (Friday morning in Europe), Milan will meet Juventus at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Los Angeles County.
“We want to win every game, whether it’s a friendly or a competitive match,” argued Tomori.
“Tomorrow we want to prove who we are. We are still not at a high level, but we are close. The season is about to begin, tomorrow we expect a tough game because it’s Milan-Juve and we want to win. Juventus are always high in the table and during my time here, we’ve always played well and I also scored two goals. I hope I can score again tomorrow, we want a high-level performance.”