Billy Gilmour has been ruled out of the rest of the current campaign by injury. Jordan (@brighty160) analyses whether he has a future in defensive midfield on his return.
In recent times Chelsea have been blessed with exceptional young players across all departments. None more than in central midfield. The likes of Michael Essien, Michael Ballack, Frank Lampard and Claude Makelele come to mind as those players who were phenomenal during their time at Stamford Bridge. But all these players are past legends, and as Chelsea fans we have to look forward to right now. This season the club have shown a different approach because of a transfer ban, and this approach has allowed young prospects to thrive under a manager who is a club legend.
Chelsea have shown that they are going with the youthful approach in terms of players who can fill certain positions across the pitch. When inevitably called upon by the manager, the faith shown is returned on the pitch as the likes of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Reece James, and Fikayo Tomori have all shown that they are able to compete at this level.
Also, let’s not forget the Scottish sensation Gilmour, who has shown in brief cameos that he can go right to the very top. He is already being tipped to be a future Chelsea star by his manager – who was a former Chelsea great in midfield for the Blues. Lampard has suggested that Gilmour can play in the position that Jorginho is most renowned for, in front of the back four. Since the Premier League’s resumption, N’Golo Kante has been selected in that position and has shown that he is more than capable of making that position his own. However, with Jorginho’s future up in the air, Gilmour can fill the Italian’s position if he were to depart the club.
Comparing experience to youth
Gilmour plays similar to the Jorginho, dictating the tempo of a football match, along with beginning attacks with his direct forward passes in between the lines. Naturally he is steady playing with the ball and has the awareness when receiving a pass in tight spaces in which he is able to resist the oppositions press.
He’s able to do all this while showing work-rate and determination in the centre of midfield. At 18, Gilmour has burst onto the scene at a good age during the clubs transitional phase of embedding young players. Gilmour can integrate with the other youngsters that Chelsea have in abundance, given that he is gifted with more opportunities in the first-team.
If he is allowed to excel, Chelsea could see the young midfielder emulate Jorginho at club level. From observing him closely in his two first-team starts before football was halted by COVID-19, Gilmour showed all the traits that Jorginho offers to this team, despite being 10-years younger.
Verdict – Star in the making in defensive midfield
Since the restart, Jorginho has featured in a brief second-half cameo against Crystal Palace, indicating the Italian isn’t in Lampard’s plans moving forward. If they were able to cash in on their vice-captain this summer, it would be sensible to buy an experienced midfielder to fill that position. But, under Lampard’s management, the club will know they have a future star in their ranks in Billy Gilmour. The 18-year-old has already shown signs that he is the ideal candidate for that position at Stamford Bridge.
Ahead of him lies a world of possibilities and a lot more game time. Kante looks to have certified his name for that spot for next season, but the Frenchman has been troubled with injuries in recent seasons. The club will have to utilise Kante when necessary and that can benefit Gilmour’s progression in the DM position. With the ability that he has, he will have to be patient. If the young prospect continues to remain focused on his development, whilst showing the right attitude in training, Lampard won’t hesitate to use Gilmour’s attributes to good effect. Against Crystal Palace, Lampard showed how much faith he has in Gilmour after selecting him in the starting XI ahead of the experienced Jorginho.
For now, Chelsea have a brilliant midfielder in their ranks. The best thing for Gilmour is to keep working hard in training and paying back the faith his manager has shown in the matches he features. If he does this, he can emulate not just Jorginho, but previous midfielders at the club.
Edited by: Dan