Why Chelsea should arrange a loan move for Billy Gilmour in January
According to The Sun, Chelsea starlet, Billy Gilmour, has revealed that his request for a loan move away from Stamford Bridge during the summer transfer window was turned down by new manager Frank Lampard.
As per the report, the 18-year-old wanted to secure a temporary move to a Football League club in the summer to further his development with regular minutes but Lampard felt that staying put at Stamford Bridge and fighting for a first-team place would be in the best interests of the teenager’s future at the club.
Lampard has certainly justified his decision to keep the talented midfielder at the club, with the manager handing the Scotsman his Premier League debut against Sheffield United before naming him in the starting eleven in Chelsea’s 7-1 victory over Grimsby Town in the EFL Cup.
Gilmour, who rose through the youth ranks at Rangers and trained with the Gers’ first-team at the tender age of 15 before making his move to Chelsea in 2017, made an immediate impact at the U-18 level, accumulating a tally of 7 goals and 2 assists in 17 U-18 Premier League appearances over the course of the 2017-18 campaign.
That paved the way for the Glasgow-born starlet to make a quick transition to the U-23s in the following season and Gilmour excelled with 5 goals and 4 assists in 19 appearances in the Premier League 2 to make his way into Lampard’s first-team plans for the ongoing campaign.
With the transfer embargo at Stamford Bridge preventing the arrival of new players at the club in the summer, burgeoning academy graduates Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James have all enjoyed the fruits of Lampard’s youth project and Gilmour has also found himself in the mix.
The 18-year-old has been training regularly with the senior team and has already made a couple of appearances this term, whilst also featuring for the U-23s.
The pathway to the senior ranks from the academy has finally opened under the stewardship of Lampard and things are beginning to take a positive turnaround for the club’s homegrown prospects.
To that end, though, Billy Gilmour is still only 18 and very much in the formative years of his footballing career. The Scottish youth international is hardly the finished article just yet and he still needs to go through a few stages in his development before he is ready to stake a claim for a regular first-team role at Stamford Bridge.
Agreed, Billy Gilmour is a player with serious potential but with the likes of Mason Mount, Jorginho, Ross Barkley, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic vying for three spots in the midfield ever week, the Blues are hardly short of competition for places in the middle of the park.
With Lampard putting a lot of emphasis on youth development, the teenager certainly has a future at the club but he is only likely to play a bit-part role in the first-team, as he has done so far.
However, if Chelsea are, indeed, looking at him as a future star in the Premier League, they might as well try to arrange a loan move to a Football League club in January to allow the youngster to work on the rough edges in his game.
Furthering his development in the U-23s is fair enough but gaining professional experience should be of paramount importance if Gilmour is to push on for a more substantial first-team role in the years to come.
Indeed, that would make the process of transition from the academy ranks to the senior level a lot easier and, obviously, a lot smoother as far as the youngster is concerned.
Realistically, a temporary move to the Championship or even League One, for that matter, would work wonders for Gilmour’s development and Chelsea need to make a decision on his future sooner rather than later.
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That is the whole point of the loan system in the development curve of any up and coming player and the 18-year-old is hardly an exception.
With that in mind, Chelsea should make it a priority to send Billy Gilmour out on loan in January, as a temporary stint at a Football League club would make him stronger, both mentally and physically.