Everton have been handed a boost to their defensive plans after it emerged that summer target Fikayo Tomori could be made available for loan by Chelsea in January, according to The Telegraph.

The 22-year-old has found game-time at Stamford Bridge limited after facing intense competition in Frank Lampard’s plans. Tomori has the likes of Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger, as well as Chelsea youth Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen, ahead of him in the pecking order.

Tomori made the England squad as recently as a year ago when he featured in the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Kosovo, but has been frozen out of both club and country plans, likely as a consequence of a lack of minutes.

According to The Telegraph, Tomori ‘is expected to be one of the high-profile players available when the January transfer window opens’, so long as Lampard’s side can avoid any major injuries.

Everton have been long-term admirers of Tomori and were strongly looking at the possibility of striking a deal for him in the summer, but instead opted to land Ben Godfrey from Norwich on a permanent deadline day deal after Chelsea were lukewarm in their willingness to let their player go.

Tomori almost ended up at West Ham on deadline day, but he pulled the plug on the move despite all the paperwork and agreements being in place between the two clubs.

The central defender boasts a wealth of experience in English football. He has had previous spells with Brighton, Hull and Derby in the Championship and has already made 26 appearances for Chelsea.

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Indicative of Tomori’s lack of an immediate role in Lampard’s plans was the fact that Silva was replaced by Rudiger in Chelsea’s win over Newcastle last weekend, with Christensen on the bench. Tomori just doesn’t seem to be getting a look-in for the Blues.

Having already spoken of the need to improve defensively, Ancelotti may well be keen to add Tomori to his ranks on a short-term loan basis. The Canadian-born man clearly shows promise amid such a competitive side, and regular game-time could be the key to getting him thriving again.

Everton need him – competition would be fierce, but it would be fantastic business for both clubs and the player himself if a move can come off.