Chelsea’s Billy Gilmour may now regret not going out on loan in January

Stefan Bienkowski
Chelsea’s Billy Gilmour may now regret not going out on loan in January

Billy Gilmour has had a dramatic season at Chelsea by any measure and it doesn’t seem as though it’ll be stopping any time soon. 

After breaking into the first team at Stamford Bridge last season, Gilmour quickly came to represent Frank Lampard’s youthful side perfectly. He was young, extremely talented and full of promise. 

However, just before this current campaign got under way the former Rangers youth talent picked up a knee injury that ruled him out for the first half of the season. 

His progress was put on ice, but surely there would be plenty of time for him to continue growing into Lampard’s team, right? Not quite. 

Just 24 hours after Gilmour’s second full 90 minutes of football, Lampard was dismissed as Chelsea manager. The coach that had put his trust in the young Scot was no longer in charge and suddenly Gilmour’s immediate future at the club was in doubt. 

This led to all sorts of speculation about Gilmour potentially moving on loan to another Premier League club, with Southampton apparently showing the most interest. 

However, following the appointment of Thomas Tuchel as Chelsea’s new manager, it seems as though Gilmour and the club decided he was best placed to stay put and fight for a first team spot. Unfortunately, that hasn’t exactly worked out. 

How much has Gilmour played under Tuchel?

According to Football London, a lack of game time has now meant that Gilmour has dropped back down to the club’s development squad to stay fit and maintain his match sharpness.

Although Tuchel was complimentary of the young midfielder when he first arrived at the club, suggesting that Gilmour had “a lot of qualities”, the German coach has instead favoured the club’s more senior midfielders in his games so far. 

Indeed, since Tuchel arrived at the club, Gilmour has featured just once for the Chelsea first team and that came in an FA Cup clash against Barnsley. Aside from that, the young Scot has been in Tuchel’s matchday squad for a Premier League game on just two occasions. 

Whether this is just a case of Tuchel playing it safe with more experienced players until he can start to blood young players into his side or he simply doesn’t rate Gilmour remains to be seen. 

But in hindsight it seems as though the young talent may have been better placed going out on loan in January and if he doesn’t get any assurances from Tuchel between now and the end of the season then Gilmour may have to find another club to give him the match experience he’ll undoubtedly need next season if he’s to continue progressing.