Former Chelsea boss, Frank Lampard has admitted that he underrated most of his players during his spell at Derby County.
Lampard also said that Nigerian-born England international, Fikayo Tomori ‘didn’t really understand’ that he (Lampard) was trying to help him become a better player.
Tomori starred at Derby while on loan from Chelsea during Lampard’s spell at Derby and again featured prominently upon his return to Stamford Bridge after Lampard rejoined Chelsea as manager.
But with the signing of Thiago Silva, Tomori, however, quickly fell down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge and had to join AC Milan on loan before making the deal a permanent one in the summer.
He has impressed since making the switch to Italy and Lampard is not totally pleased about the way it ended for Tomori in west London.
Speaking about the impact that Tomori and Mason Mount had while on loan at Derby, Lampard told Coral: “They brought in a lot of energy and enthusiasm for us but I did also realise I underestimated the rest of the squad.
“The likes of Nugent, Keogh, Bryson and Johnson, I found them all to be fantastic professionals and excellent players.
“I am very proud of Mason Mount but it’s all down to him in many respects. His quality, his attributes, how he applies himself in training and his work ethic is special.
“He’s building his own story and I am part of that in that I gave him a chance and I’m definitely proud of that. Fikayo was immense at Derby, growing into the season and getting better every week.
“It was a difficult story in the end because we had too many centre-halves in the end in the second year at Chelsea and I really wanted to help him but I’m not sure he really understood that.”
Frank Lampard was sacked as Chelsea manager towards the end of last year and was replaced by former Borussia Dortmund boss, Thomas Tuchel, who has since led the club to Champions League title and currently leading the Premier League title race.