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Chelsea targeting post-international break return for Billy Gilmour

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U23s first

Chelsea FC v Watford FC - Premier League Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

After allowing both Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek to leave on loan for the season, Chelsea have been left with just three (non-attacking) central midfielders (Kanté, Kovačić, Jorginho). Ideally, we’d have one more, even if the likes of Mason Mount and Kai Havertz could theoretically play deeper as well.

Perhaps our plan all along was to use young Billy Gilmour in that role, with the youngster set to return from his knee injury within the next month or so. Frank Lampard revealed this bit of news before our Champions League match earlier this week.

“Billy’s working really well, he’s probably three weeks away from his return. He’s working outside on his own with the physios still, we hope that he’ll integrate with either ourselves or the Under-23s to get some training minutes.

“So hopefully three or four weeks, probably the other side of the next international break all being well.”

-Frank Lampard; source: Metro

Gilmour was expected to be out for four months following his knee surgery in early July, so an early- or mid-November return would be right on track.

Obviously, it’ll take a bit of time for him to get up to speed once again, but hopefully he’ll get the opportunities to continue building on those highly promising and head-turning starts against Liverpool and Everton just before the first coronavirus lockdown back in March. (He’s also been linked with a few loan moves in January, which I suppose wouldn’t be surprising.)