Why Chelsea shouldn’t hesitate to loan out Billy Gilmour in January
An unnamed football agent has told the Athletic (h/t The Sun) that Chelsea youngster Billy Gilmour could force through a loan move away from Stamford Bridge when the transfer window reopens in January.
The 19-year-old, who earns £43k-a-week wages currently, enjoyed a breakthrough season at Stamford Bridge last term. But he has been out of action since suffering a cruciate ligament injury back in July. Gilmour is expected to recover from his long-term injury by December, which could open the door for him to seek a loan move away from West London in January. (h/t The Sun)
Billy Gilmour started his footballing education at Rangers in Scotland and caught the eye with his impressive progress. However, he never made a first-team appearance for the Gers and was snapped up by Chelsea as an exciting prospect in the summer of 2017.
The teenager initially made his mark for the Blues at the U-18 level, scoring 7 goals and registering 2 assists in 17 appearances in the U-18 PL during the 2017-18 campaign. Gilmour also featured in the UEFA Youth League in his first season at Chelsea before being promoted to the U-23 side for the 2018-19 campaign.
Gilmour bagged 5 goals and 4 assists in 19 appearances in the Premier League 2 Division 1 during the 2018-19 season, prompting Frank Lampard to integrate the Scottish starlet in his first-team plans. He was handed his Premier League debut substitute against Sheffield United in August last year and went on to make another 10 appearances across all competitions.
Gilmour needs a loan spell to develop
Billy Gilmour emerged as an overnight sensation at Chelsea following a hugely impressive display in the club’s FA Cup fifth-round victory over Liverpool back in March. He followed it up with yet another top-notch performance in the 4-0 rout of Everton in the Premier League, which proved to be Chelsea’s last game before the lockdown.
The 19-year-old, though, struggled to hit those same heights following the restart in June before a dreadful knee injury stalled his progress. It became clear that Gilmour, despite all his talent and potential, needed time to evolve into a regular first-team player for Chelsea in the Premier League.
Gilmour is likely to find regular minutes hard to come by at Stamford Bridge following Chelsea’s outrageous spending spree in the summer market. It wouldn’t make any sense for the youngster to continue his development with the U-23 side, considering that he has already proven himself capable of playing senior football.
Constantly sitting on the bench and playing the odd cup game at Chelsea won’t really make things easier for Gilmour once he returns from his injury, with Jorginho, Kovacic, and Kante all ahead of him in the pecking order.
He will need to play regularly to regain his shape after a long absence and continue his development down the right path. So a loan move away from West London in January could be a fair settlement for all parties.
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Billy Gilmour is right up there with the hottest emerging talents in the Premier League but regular game time should be of paramount importance for his development at this stage of his career.
That seems unlikely to happen at Chelsea, who are currently well-stocked in their central midfield options. Hence, the Blues shouldn’t hesitate to sanction a loan move for the Scottish sensation after he recovers from his injury.