Following Chelsea’s solid 2-0 win over runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool, football fans can only talk about one player. It was young Billy Gilmour who, quite frankly, bossed the midfield and showed a maturity and calmness on the ball that not many 18 year olds possess. Another youth product has come up trumps and as Chelsea fans, we can all be excited over seeing this player develop over the years. There’s going to be a lot of press and attention for the Scotsman, and rightly so, but we at the Chelsea Echo are here to shine a light on the young man after his man of the match performance.
Fantastic Performance vs Liverpool
Starting in what was only his third game for the senior team, the midfield maestro picked up the man of the match performance for his slick, classy display that has got everyone talking. Whether it was his calmness on the ball whilst the Liverpool players pressed him, his desire in the tackle or his classy bit of skill to turn Fabinho and send him back to Monaco; his game showed a bit of everything.
The Match of the Day Live pundits were quick to have their say with Ian Wright claiming ‘He was someone that was tracked by [Manchester] City, [Manchester] United, Barcelona and Real Madrid. And you watch him, I’m not going to go over the top on it, but you can see (why) for an 18-year-old the way that’s he’s been playing. Unbelievable the way he’s played.’
Manager Frank Lampard will be seriously considering using him more regularly from now until the end of the season. Especially with Jorginho out of the next game through suspension and N’golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic injured. Two out of his three starts have been in the cup against two top oppositions (Manchester United and Liverpool) He has been thrust into these games against big teams and he has performed which shows that he isn’t overawed by the occasion. That is clear to see from the manner of his play in those two games.
Whilst he made headlines for joining up with the senior squad on a permanent basis over a month ago, the buzz around the youngster has been there for a while now. Comparisons have been made to the likes of Marco Verrati, Xavi and Andres Iniesta – good company indeed. Diminutive in stature but not in presence. His low centre of gravity is coupled with great control and passing range which puts him in that same sort of mould as the players mentioned.
Gilmour became officially contracted to Chelsea football club following his 16th birthday. Before that, he was part of the Rangers setup from 2009-2017. He was born in Glasgow and raised in Ardrossan, North Ayrshire where he was part of the Scottish Football Association Performance School Program. He showed plenty of promise at youth level and was asked to train with the Rangers first team at just 15. They wanted him to stay when Chelsea came calling but the offer was too good to turn down.
With Lampard’s youth revolution, it seems Gilmour is best placed to make it at Chelsea. Considering the long term future of Jorginho, Kante and Ross Barkley, it puts him good stead as he is likely to be surrounded by the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mason Mount, Ethan Ampadu and Kovacic as the years go by.
As mentioned, with Jorginho suspended for two games in the league and injuries around the squad, now seems like the perfect time after that performance to see more of Gilmour. His attitude and ability shone through against Liverpool and Chelsea fans will want to see more and more of him from now until the end of the season.
It seemed his first thought when he picks up the ball is going forward. His first thought was to advance the play and when certain players are back fit the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic, he’ll have willing runners and people to pick out – if he plays that is.
He certainly has given the manager something to think about. Prior to this game, he has barely been played as he is very much the most inexperienced player in the squad which is fair enough. However, the maturity shown against Liverpool of all teams, will encourage Lampard to trust him again against weaker teams.
He can play in that midfield and he can be successful there – he’s proven what he can do. With such accolades coming from everywhere, especially the manager, it won’t be long before Gilmour is starting another game for Chelsea football club.