Five starts in five months – Tuchel explains why he rarely picks Gilmour for Chelsea

Stefan Bienkowski
Five starts in five months – Tuchel explains why he rarely picks Gilmour for Chelsea

The progress made at Chelsea under new manager Thomas Tuchel has been clear for all to see but one player that hasn’t played a huge part in that is Billy Gilmour. 

First introduced to English football as an exciting, young midfielder under Frank Lampard last season, the former Rangers youth prospect has struggled for game time under his new manager. 

Indeed, the young Scot has made just seven starts for Chelsea since the start of the year and has been largely overlooked for more experienced midfield options like Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic. 

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Gilmour’s exclusion from the squad has been so notable at times that Chelsea fans have begun to question whether Tuchel rates the young star or has long-term plans for Gilmour’s development. 

However, the former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain head coach undoubtedly hinted at his thoughts on Gilmour in a press conference on Friday afternoon. 

Tuchel: Not fair to compare Gilmour to older midfielders 

During the media interviews Tuchel was asked about Kovacic returning from injury and within his explanation of how useful the Croatia international has been this season, the Chelsea manager also explained why Gilmour hasn’t featured heavily in the second half of the season. 

“It’s huge because Mateo [Kovacic] has everything we need in the midfield: experience, power, acceleration, deceleration, can beat players, has the physical ability, and has played big games,” said Tuchel. 

“When we missed N’Golo and Mateo in the same match, we lacked a lot of quality, energy, and experience. 

“Billy [Gilmour] did a huge job in both games but it’s not fair to compare him to these players because they have more experience and they are a step ahead in their development. It’s what we need in the key moments of the season.

“It’s big news for us that Kova is back because he has a big impact on the dressing room around big matches. He’s a very positive guy so it’s good news.”