Chelsea manager Frank Lampard was impressed by Billy Gilmour’s “outstanding” return to first-team action after the Scottish midfielder delivered an assured midfield performance in Tuesday’s 1-1 Champions League draw with Krasnodar.
The 19-year-old was handed his full European debut in the Group E match after spending four months on the sidelines following knee surgery.
Gilmour, who arrived from Scottish side Rangers in 2017, enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at Stamford Bridge last season but with Lampard spending around £220 million on new players in last transfer window there is now even more competition for places.
Gilmour is vying for game time with N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount.
“I thought Billy was outstanding on his return, I felt very comfortable with him coming back in, he’s trained so well, done his rehab and he deserved his chance tonight,” said Lampard.
British media have reported Rangers are keen to take Gilmour back on loan in January but Lampard said he might not need to leave the club to get first-team opportunities.
“The way he played today and how he trains I see him growing with us, he’s going to be a Chelsea player just making sure the pathway is right for him,” Lampard said.
Chelsea wingers Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi will both spend time on the sidelines due to hamstring injuries but Lampard said the pair should be back in time for the hectic Christmas and New Year schedule.
— Billy Gilmour (@billygilmourrr) December 8, 2020
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“They both had scans,” said Lampard. “It should be about two weeks.
“With Hakim that’s positive, while with Callum we didn’t know what to expect. But it’s good news overall on both.”