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Life under Frank Lampard for the Chelsea youth was meant to be a period for them to prosper … not for Billy Gilmour.
It would be a mistake to overlook the rise to prominence of the likes of Mason Mount and Reece James during Lampard’s tenure, but it’s fair to say that the rhetoric of ‘Frank Lampard is willing to give the young a chance’ had something to do with it. blind when it comes to the Scotland U21 international.
Gilmour had just 225 minutes of Premier League action during Lampard’s 18 months at Chelsea, and while Thomas Tucehl’s arrival at Stamford Bridge represented a new beginning for everyone at the club, no one will have breathed a bigger sigh of relief. than the young Scotsman. well, maybe Kepa Arrizabalaga, but the less said there, the better.
Still, Gilmour was widely inclined to go out on loan in January, however after only a few days at the club, it seemed that Tuchel had convinced the youngster to stay at Stamford Bridge and fight for his place.
He didn’t budge, and after just one unused substitute appearance on Chelsea’s bench in Tuchel’s first four games at the club, he finally got his golden shot against Barnsley in the FA Cup on Thursday night.
While it may appear that Gilmour had been given a spoonful of a cup draw against lower league rivals, in reality the task ahead was much more difficult.
The playing surface at Oakwell was terrible, meaning that even the simplest pass suddenly became a chore. Chelsea played a stellar team, but the bogged down field meant the visitors would need to show character and drive, two qualities Gilmour displayed in abundance.
Sitting slightly ahead of N’Golo Kante, Gilmour put on a thoroughbred display and led his team further up the field, offering the graceful Alex Mowatt no time to settle on the ball when in possession.
Yet while Gilmour’s desire and ability to grit his teeth was undoubtedly the bright light in Chelsea’s midfield, he did not lack the touch of class necessary to secure his team’s passage to the quarterfinals.
The 19-year-old played a big part in deciding the winners of the contest, killing the ball in midfield before raising his head and finding the career of James, who in turn chose Tammy Abraham to whom he handed the ball. simple task of conceding the winning goal at home.
At first glance, Gilmour’s passing looked pretty orderly, if not spectacular, but when you see his involvement in goal, he shows a maturity in his game.
Having raised his head, the youngster instantly sees a large hole between Barnsley’s two center-backs and looks to pass the ball to Abraham, as 95% of midfielders would when they had the chance.
However, Gilmour sees James run down the right and stops his pass before opting to pick the right-back, with Chelsea fully opening the home side and Abraham finally fitting into an empty net.
It may seem like a simple pass, but there is a vision and intelligence to Gilmour’s game that cannot be underestimated in someone so young.
For all the internationals in Chelsea’s midfield, they tend to lack dynamism and energy at times, but Gilmour’s display showed he has the ability and maturity to mix it up with players like Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic, and he will have given Tuchel a lot. what to think about before their next outing against Newcastle in the Premier League on Monday night.