The current season has brought an abundance of joy for Chelsea fans, as we have seen a plethora of young talent that has come through the academy. One of whom is the 18-year-old Scot Billy Gilmour, who has showcased his impressive abilities in just a few games this season.
Looking back on his first outing in a competitive fixture for the Blues, on the 31st August, 2019 versus Sheffield United, many fans had strong sense of curiosity on whether this kid could breakthrough and become a genuine asset to this young side. Questions regarding his height, physicality and experience contributed to his delayed run of games within the first team.
A plethora of reasons hindered the heavily proclaimed “Scottish Iniesta’s” involvement in the side, in part due to the complexity of Chelsea’s midfield. Questions were raised on how the Blues could constrict a midfield that could be dynamic enough to defend and attack at a very elite level.
A few weeks after Gilmour’s debut, the Blues took on Grismby town in the fourth round of the EFL cup. The change of competition lead to Frank Lampard to rotate the line up to ensure the first competitive start for Gilmour.
As Chelsea triumphed over Grimsby Town to advance into the next round, many fans were left with optimism after a tidy, majestic display by the 18-year-old Scot. However, even after such a professional performance, Gilmour wasn’t ensured consistent game time, as he would have to wait at least six months for another glimpse of competitive first team action for the west London club.
After a six month drought, Gilmour had regained a place back in the starting lineup in the 5th round of the F.A. Cup against league leaders Liverpool. A huge moment for the young midfielder, as it was another chance to showcase his talents in one of the most historic cup competitions in world football, under the floodlights, in south-west London, in front of an adoring Chelsea crowd, and he did not disappoint. It was simply a perfect performance by Gimour as he displayed elegance in the midfield with his tidy footwork and a range of passing. It was becoming clear to spectators that this kid is an exceptional talent, and according to Sqawaka football, Gilmour made more tackles than any other player with 5 on the night. Very impressive for an 18-year-old who is only 5ft 7. Furthermore, Frank Lampard has given his admiration for the Scottish youngster by way of a large variety of appraisal, stating, “He’s a throwback of a midfielder… I’ve got absolute trust in Billy.”
The Chelsea boss meant every single word as he rewarded a first league start to Gilmour on Chelsea’s 4-0 rout over the toffees on March 8th. After following up a dominating performance during the midweek, Gilmour’s confidence was flying through the roof as he took over the regista role, which is so heavily synonymous with vice-captain Jorginho. Gilmour shows an ease and comfortability as he becomes accustomed to dropping deep in the Chelsea midfield, and most evidently really showing his levels of controlling and dictating play.
According to Sqawka data for Gilmour’s contribution and involvement on the win against Everton, he recorded:
93% Pass accuracy
44 passes attempted
41 passes completed
Such promising statistics for an 18-year-old who has only featured in less than 10 games for the club, against a well accomplished Liverpool side who had their own aspirations for a treble.
Now with the addition of Gilmour, Chelsea simply has more variety to the team’s midfield. As I have previously mentioned, the qualities he adds to this team are paramount to the progression of a young Frank Lampard’s Chelsea. All in all, I would give Gimour’s season 8/10. Even with only handful of games, he’s definitely shown why he is a renowned young, promising talent.
As soon as the Premier League resumes its operations, hopefully we can witness more of the special young prodigy of the “Scottish Iniesta” Billy Gilmour.
Edited by: Dan