Football News

Billy Gilmour confirms permanent place in Chelsea’s first-team squad

By Steve Jennings

Published: 22:30, 11 February 2020

Chelsea youngster Billy Gilmour has confirmed that he’s been promoted from the youth team to the senior squad by Frank Lampard on a permanent basis.

The 18-year-old midfielder was handed his Premier League debut at Stamford Bridge against Sheffield United in August before appearing in the final stages of a home victory over Crystal Palace.

Who is Billy Gilmour? Five things to know…

  • Gilmour came through at Rangers’ academy but turned down a professional contract with his hometown club in 2017.
  • He subsequently joined Chelsea and has since shone in central midfield for the club’s youth sides.
  • Having caught the eye of Lampard, Gilmour has made a handful of appearances for the first-team this term.
  • The Scot made his Premier League debut from the bench against Sheffield United and his full debut in a 7-1 thrashing of Grimsby Town in the EFL Cup.
  • And now, Gilmour has spoken of his excitement having been permanently promoted to the senior squad.

Having made his full debut in the EFL Cup and been among the substitutes in Chelsea’s two Champions League meetings with Ajax, Gilmour has been deemed worthy of a step-up by Lampard.

Speaking to the club’s official website, the teenager explained how the promotion came about and what he expects from being a first-team player moving forward.

“It’s a massive moment for me and I’m really happy,” Gilmour said.

“I went with the squad to Leicester and even though I wasn’t involved, the gaffer pulled me afterwards to tell me that after the winter break I’d be with the first-team permanently.

“It’s a dream come true for me. It’s the first big step I think, moving into the first-team dressing room at a club like Chelsea. It’s massive for me.

“Knowing that the manager has such faith in you is massive, it gives me so much confidence when I step onto the field. It’s really good knowing that he trusts in you and likes the way you play, and I think that’s the same for everyone here.

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“Age isn’t really an issue here. The gaffer has shown that if you work hard and perform well, then you will get opportunities. Hopefully I can keep pushing on and work hard every day in training.”

Gilmour now faces the difficult task of usurping the likes of Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante in central midfield, as well as Ross Barkley and the soon-to-return Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

But with Lampard’s tendency to give opportunities to young players, the Scotland Under-21 international could feature relatively prominently from now until the end of the campaign.