Fikayo Tomori and Olivier Giroud were given cold shoulder during Chelsea’s Champions League-winning campaign – now AC Milan stars can get perfect revenge

    On Wednesday night at Stamford Bridge, ex-Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel could have a lot to answer for.

    Firstly, why do the Blues only have one Champions League point, having lost to Dinamo Zagreb in the opening fixture?

    Two familiar faces return to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night

    Getty

    Two familiar faces return to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night

    Secondly, why is Olivier Giroud playing in the red and black stripes of AC Milan?

    Thirdly, and most importantly, what on earth is Fikayo Tomori doing alongside him?

    Tuchel, sacked after the defeat to Zagreb and replaced by Graham Potter, can be forgiven for most things.

    That is because he delivered Champions League success in 2021, just five months into the job.

    But decisions made during that run to glory could come back to haunt Chelsea on Wednesday night as two of their former players return.

    Tuchel made it pretty clear that veteran striker Giroud and young defender Tomori were not part of his plans.

    Tuchel delivered a Champions League for Chelsea, but was axed by the new regime

    Getty

    Tuchel delivered a Champions League for Chelsea, but was axed by the new regime

    Tomori had lost his way after breaking into the Chelsea starting XI under Frank Lampard the previous campaign.

    He was immediately loaned out to AC Milan in January 2021, watching on from Italy as his boyhood club won the Champions League without him.

    Giroud, meanwhile, had a closer view, but was an onlooker nonetheless.

    The Frenchman was barely used by Tuchel and even struggled to make a number of his matchday squads.

    Giroud has been a big succes in Milan

    Getty

    Giroud has been a big succes in Milan

    But fast forward 17 months – and it is Giroud and Tomori who arrive at Stamford Bridge as champions.

    The former Chelsea pair were instrumental as Milan won the Serie A title during the 2021/22 campaign.

    As Tuchel bemoaned a lack of options up front and at the back, Giroud bagged 11 goals in 29 matches, while Tomori starred in one of Europe’s tightest defences.

    Giroud’s exit was understandable. The 36-year-old is built for a certain kind of philosophy – and not one shared by Tuchel.

    Tomori’s departure has been difficult to comprehend

    Getty

    Tomori’s departure has been difficult to comprehend

    However, many Chelsea fans still rue the loss of Tomori.

    It came during a summer when the Blues also shipped out Kurt Zouma and Marc Guehi.

    The following year, they would lose Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.

    Suddenly, the Blues found themselves one Thiago Silva injury away from oblivion, before spalshing more than £100million on Kalidou Koulibaly and Wesley Fofana.

    Chelsea had a ready-made superstar but lost patience

    Getty – Contributor

    Chelsea had a ready-made superstar but lost patience

    This stressful and expensive endeavour was bewildering given the club spent 16 years nurturing Tomori, picking him up at the age of eight.

    He will return to Stamford Bridge with a point to prove – but it is one that most Blues fans know already.

    Chelsea have wasted time and talent over the years – and Tomori is probably the toughest pill to swallow.

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