Chelsea has been renowned for its incredible youth system. The likes of Tammy Abraham, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Reece James and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have broken into the first team after coming through the London side’s academy. Perhaps you can suggest they’re only getting minutes because of the circumstances. But credit must go to the fabled academy, continuing to produce talented players. Now the latest Blue to have a buzz or hype around him is Billy Gilmour.
“I thought Billy Gilmour was the best player on the pitch for the period of time that he was on the pitch.”Lampard on Gilmour’s FA Cup cameo vs Hull
The 18 year old has been moved up to the senior squad permanently, after impressing for the youth sides. Frank Lampard clearly has faith in his abilities, along with many Chelsea fans who are excited to see him gradually get more minutes on the pitch. 18 years of age and playing for the first team, a testament to how highly he’s rated.
Now tonight after his excellent display in the FA Cup 5th round, the name Gilmour is known to more people. A mature, hardworking and positive performance from one of Scotland’s best young prospects. He was making key interceptions, looked great on the ball and fitted in so smoothly into the starting XI. Arguably man of the match and he looked like he was enjoying the game. That nutmeg at the end!
So why is the young Scot considered to be the ‘next big thing’ at Stamford Bridge? We’ll give you a run down:
Rising up the ranks
As aforementioned, Gilmour has performed brilliantly for Chelsea’s youth sides. Having initially started in his native Scotland with Rangers and training with their first team at just 15, he’s only gone from strength to strength in England since. His last 2 seasons with the U23 side have produced 6 goals and 7 assists from 29 appearances. Great figures for a midfielder.
The Scottish U21 international has also featured for the Blues’ other youth sides, shining for the U19s last season and the U18s 2 years ago. Gilmour has risen up the ranks, making 6 appearances for the senior side in 2019/20 so far. Natural progression which undoubtedly will allow him to settle into the senior side seamlessly.
Billy Gilmour – Style of Play
Of course this is a YouTube highlight reel that will glamorise any player regardless of who they are or what they’re actually like. But I can completely understand the excitement from Chelsea fans.
Gilmour is evidently a technically gifted footballer. The video highlights his outstanding range of passing, at just 18 years of age. His ability to switch play with such ease and find over the top balls from the tightest of angles are the hallmarks of a great play maker. What particularly impresses me, is his quick instinct. One look up and he’s played the ball through or decided to dribble. Something that you need to learn quickly in the Premier League, or you’ll be punished. Clearly in his case, he should be fine.
Not to mention the dribbling of the Chelsea youth product. The number of times he skips past his man or draws a foul emphasise that technical skill h has. Even from the tightest of spaces, he manages to weave his way through. In Lampard’s possession based style, that composure combined with the skill will make him a huge asset.
Gilmour looks like he could be a box to box midfielder or in fact a deep lying playmaker. As I mentioned earlier, his attacking output is decent. But the video also shows his tackling and willingness to get stuck in. At 5ft 6 and with his frame, you don’t expect him to dominate Premier League midfields physically. Yet he can definitely do a job tracking back and quickly transitioning to an attack on the break. Either way, Billy Gilmour could be a break out star in the next season or two.
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