Name: Billy Gilmour
Date of Birth: 11 June 2001
Position: Midfielder (Defensive/Central)
Billy Gilmour – his career so far
By now, the name of Billy Gilmour is a well-known one not just for Chelsea supporters but for the majority of the footballing world. Even though the youngster is only 18 years of age, he has already exploded onto the scene and into Frank Lampard’s first-team squad earlier in the ongoing 2019/20 season.
His first steps towards a footballing career, however, were done at Glasgow Rangers, a club he joined at the age of just eight, advancing through their ranks until he was signed by Chelsea in the summer of 2017, joining their academy.
It didn’t take Gilmour long to establish himself as an important cog in Jody Morris’ squad upon joining the club in his inaugural season as one of the Blues. He even managed to score on his debut for the youth side in September that year, netting in the team’s victory over their rivals, Arsenal.
He ended up playing a total of 26 games for the U18 side, bagging eight goals and assisting further three along the way as well. Naturally, he kept improving and rapidly stepping up the ladder and quickly into the U23 squad.
There, he made 37 appearances with seven goals and ten assists under his belt too. Gilmour was also a big part of their UEFA U19 team, scoring four goals and assisting one across 14 games played in the Youth Cup.
In July 2018, the young Scotland international penned his first professional contract at Chelsea and earned himself an extension in September the very next year which runs until the end of the 2022/23 season.
But Gilmour can also boast with some first-team experience under Lampard’s stern but just hand as well. He made his senior and Premier League debut on August 31 vs Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge in front of the Blues’ own fans. Shortly after, he also made his full debut under a month later against Grimsby Town in the 7-1 Carabao Cup triumph.
All seven of his senior performances have arrived in 2019/20 as he appeared in both the EFL and FA Cup as well as the Premier League. He is, however, yet to tally a goal or assist for the first-team.
Gilmour still has a valid contract at Chelsea until 2023 and at the very moment, his future seems closely connected to the Blues and the Blues only. Of course, there are bound to be transfer rumours springing up here and there but at the moment, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Both the media and the club officials seem to believe in his talent and the ability to become one of the club legends in the future. Of course, that are some huge claims but the comparisons with some of the greats of the beautiful game do indicate that’s the current view of the footballing world.
In some other Chelsea news, however, Lampard was the one to praise Gilmour the most, even stating he could become as good as Paul Scholes, which is a huge claim, to say the least.
While some transfer rumours are suggesting Chelsea’s squad might get trimmed, Gilmour seems certain to remain at Stamford Bridge for years to come.
Even at such a young age, Gilmour seems like a midfielder who’s already able to dictate the tempo of the game with his technique, footballing intelligence and also superior positional awareness. It’s indeed what he does off the ball that sometimes makes the biggest difference rather than his on the ball exploits.
An important trait of an elite midfielder is his ability to scan the field multiple times before actually getting in contact with the ball. Gilmour always makes sure to note the positioning of his opposition before making himself available to receive the ball. This ensures he’s in a free pocket of space and can progress the play as soon as he’s in possession.
But we shouldn’t disregard his passing abilities as he is often the key man who creates chances for himself and his teammates. He has the vision and the technique to deploy penetrative balls and cut through the defensive lines with ease.
He sent 1.17 through balls per 90 minutes in 2019/20 along with 10.49 passes into the final third and 2.35 per 90 minutes straight into the box. The fact that he is also averaging 1.11 shot assists also says a lot about his overall creativity and the impact he has on the pitch.
But with 3.7 interceptions and 8.52 recoveries per 90 minutes, his defensive contribution should also not be disregarded.
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