Billy Gilmour is great.
I could probably end the article there because most Chelsea supporters already know that, even after only brief glimpses of the young midfielder in action for the Blues. Tracking back to his breakthrough under Frank Lampard in the 2019/20 season, the Scot has continued to gain admirers for his tenacious displays that have been filled with maturity and elegance in the centre of the park for a player still young.
Chelsea’s current midfield maestro Jorginho has solidified his place in Thomas Tuchel’s eleven, but the clear succession plan is there for the Blues with Gilmour, and Saturday night provided further proof.
Starting for former Blue Steve Clarke in Scotland’s pressurised World Cup Qualifier at Hampden Park, the 20-year old once again produced a composed performance to impress his coach.
Gilmour produced the most passes in the match with 66, creating two chances, five accurate long balls, two key passes and 10 recoveries. It was the sort of metronomic display he has become accustomed to producing for club and country, and why so many predict a bright future for the Chelsea academy graduate.
Given the way Jorginho has played a similar role for Chelsea since joining from Napoli in 2018, the idea of maintaining a midfielder who can control the tempo of a game is a valuable one in the modern Premier League, and given the Blues have one in Gilmour should be prioritised.
“I have said for a long time, he’s the future of Scottish football, we try to keep a lid on it in the camp but performances like that will do him no harm whatsoever.” Steve Clarke said of Gilmour following his Man of the Match display against England at EURO 2020 back in June.
It is not only Gilmour’s raw talent that is evident in midfield, it is also those more intangible elements that have enabled him to make such a meteoric rise.
Following a brilliant display for Chelsea in a dominant 2-0 win over Liverpool in the FA Cup back in 2020, Frank Lampard uttered a line that probably best summarises his immense potential.
“He might be small in stature but he is huge in personality and talent.”
Gilmour would start and shine again for Chelsea in a dominant 4-0 win over Everton preceding the shutdown of football enforced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When football returned, Gilmour would suffer his biggest setback so far with a knee injury which ended his season, sidelining him until November of last year.
He got back into the team preceding Lampard’s dismissal in the FA Cup win over Luton back in January, where again he showed the attributes that have made him a standout young player at Stamford Bridge.
He struggled for minutes under Thomas Tuchel at the back end of last season but still managed to make an impression with a brilliant display at The Etihad as the Blues defeated Man City 2-1 in the Premier League.
In an effort to gain more minutes Gilmour has joined Norwich City on loan for the season.
The Canaries have endured a woeful start, only picking up one point from their opening seven league fixtures. Though even with those real struggles, Gilmour’s individual performances have still picked up plaudits from Norwich supporters watching on.
Jorginho was nominated for the Ballon d’Or on Friday and has reached the summit of his ability this year under Tuchel, winning the Champions League and Super Cup, also starring for Italy in their EURO 2020 triumph.
Gilmour still has a long way to go, though given the Italian is reaching his 30’s with his current contract only extending to 2023, the club has to be thinking about the future look of our midfield, and a talent like Gilmour can not be allowed to slip through our fingers as others have before.
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Source by Football London