Billy Gilmour was not named in Thomas Tuchel’s first matchday squad yesterday, and that has only added to the already existing speculation about a potential loan move for the second half of the season, premature as those decisions may yet be in determining whom Tuchel might favor in the end.
Even before Tuchel’s arrival, former head coach Frank Lampard had admitted that this was a possibility, even if he himself was big fan of the 19-year-old midfielder. But Gilmour has managed only 309 minutes of football thus far, and while he missed the first few months of the season due to injury, his (immediate) future was not all that assured with Lampard also admitting that it was hard to find minutes to give to all his players.
Earlier this month, Scotland national team head coach (and former Chelsea defender) Steve Clarke advised Gilmour to look for more minutes if he wanted to be in consideration for the Scotland squad at Euro
2020 2021 this summer. Though Gilmour didn’t really seem too keen on the idea of a loan at that time, things can change pretty quickly in football — and convincing Lampard would’ve probably been easier going forward than trying to do the same with a brand new head coach.
According to the Athletic and the Daily Mail, Gilmour is indeed keeping the Scotland squad in mind ahead of the delayed European Championships. He knows that playing time will be of the utmost importance in achieving that goal — who knows when Scotland will quality for a major tournament next? — and as such, he has “asked the club” for a loan move.
Whether Chelsea are able and willing to fulfill Billy’s wish remains to be seen. The transfer window shuts in just a few days. It’s not easy to swing last-minute deals even in normal times, but especially in the middle of a pandemic. There are reportedly multiple Premier League and Championship sides interested, though if Gilmour leaves, Chelsea would also be down to just four central midfielders in the squad.