Billy Gilmour could leave Chelsea on loan to seek first-team opportunities

Nick Purewal, PA
·3-min read

Billy Gilmour could seek a last-minute loan move away from Chelsea this month after Thomas Tuchel’s arrival, the PA news agency understands.

The Scotland Under-21 star impressed every time he was elevated to Chelsea’s first team under Frank Lampard, but could now find his short-term chances limited.

Teen star Gilmour still wants to break into Scotland’s senior squad in time for the summer’s Euros, and will need regular football to advance his selection claims.

Bristol Rovers v Chelsea U21 – Papa John’s Trophy – Southern Group D – Memorial Stadium
Billy Gilmour, pictured, is unlikely to feature regularly in the short-term under new Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel (David Davies/PA)

Tuchel laid bare his tactical blueprint for dominating possession in Wednesday’s goalless Premier League draw with Wolves at Stamford Bridge.

The German coach paired Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic in deep midfield, confirming expectations about his set-up by deploying a 3-4-2-1 formation.

Tuchel had tracked Italy midfielder Jorginho in previous managerial roles, and now has the chance to work with the former Napoli man.

Croatia midfielder Kovacic is another senior Chelsea star to fit Tuchel’s mould and appears set for regular action.

Throw France’s World Cup-winning midfielder N’Golo Kante into the mix as well, and Gilmour’s immediate selection chances appear slim.

Chelsea know full well 19-year-old Gilmour’s rich potential and want him to realise that at Stamford Bridge, but the remainder of the season is unlikely to yield many first team openings.

Tuchel could not hide his delight at the opportunity to work with Kante, who has endured another season so far besieged by hamstring problems.

“I wanted many years to have N’Golo Kante in my team and now I have him here,” said Tuchel.

Chelsea’s 47-year-old new boss swept into Stamford Bridge on Tuesday determined to maintain a positive demeanour and build confidence through the west London ranks.

And the former Paris St Germain and Borussia Dortmund boss insists he will not need much time to hit the ground running.

“That’s the funny thing about joining in the middle of the season – I already know the likes of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Toni Rudiger, and I know Olivier Giroud well too,” said Tuchel.

“I have been following the Premier League for many years, both in Dortmund and Paris, so I have a clear picture of what the guys are capable of.

“To find a guy like (Cesar) Azpilicueta in your office is simply amazing, because in the end I am also a football fan.”

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo made no bones about sending out his struggling side explicitly to nullify the hosts.

Nuno’s side continue to seek a first league win since the 2-1 victory over Chelsea on December 15, and the Portuguese manager was delighted with a clean sheet.

“The clean sheet is something we haven’t had for a while, so it’s always important – everything starts from that.

“So it’s a refocus for us now, on how we do things, how we focus and the boys did very well.

“So that’s a good start for us, for everything.”