Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori has recalled accidentally breaking Diego Costa’s nose in a training session.
The young centre-back – then a teenager – had been invited to join in with the first-team’s training session by then-interim manager Guus Hiddink and ended up inadvertently injuring the club’s star striker when contesting a header.
However, Costa managed to get a protective mask fitted and was able to face Newcastle United in the Blues’ next game, scoring in a 5-1 victory.
“I was actually still in school and I didn’t know I had done it in training,” Tomori said.
“It was an accident, we both went up for a header and I had to flick the ball backwards and he tried to score. He headed the back of my head and he broke his nose. I didn’t know I had done it until the next day when it was all over the papers.
“I was getting a lot of messages with people thinking I had meant to do it! It was mostly light-hearted, a lot of banter. I got back to school and people were asking about it. I was in year 10 or 11 and my mates had all seen it.
“It was all right. He didn’t kick me in training after that.”
Tomori admits that he did not foresee David Luiz leaving to join Arsenal, leaving him an opportunity to step up and fill the Brazilian’s shoes.
“Yeah, I wasn’t really expecting [Luiz to leave]. I came in this season just kind of trying to improve myself and give myself the best chance to play in the Premier League. Obviously playing for Chelsea is what I’ve been doing since I was seven years old, so it’s nice it’s happened this way.
“I know the manager has that faith in me and he’s showed me that faith last season and this year. I’ve just tried to work hard, and I knew coming back for pre-season I would have to take myself up a couple of levels and I was going to have to learn from other people. So that’s what I’ve been doing, but I want to carry on and keep improving.”