Chelsea tie down Scottish prospect Gilmour
Billy Gilmour believes there are exciting times ahead for Chelsea after putting pen to paper on a new four-year contract.
The 18-year-old has been fast-tracked into the first team by Frank Lampard since the ex-Blues midfielder took charge during the summer, making his senior debut in the 2-2 draw with Sheffield United before the international break.
His six-minute cameo against the Blades saw Gilmour become the first Scot to play for Chelsea in 17 years and he has followed that up by being handed a new deal until 2023.
Gilmour is one of a number of youngsters handed a chance by Lampard this season, getting his break initially by being included in the senior squad for their first two pre-season matches of the summer.
He was then named on the bench for the UEFA Super Cup loss to Liverpool in August, in between representing the Under-23 side on three occasions.
While Gilmour has been handed his chance in the senior squad due to injuries to the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and N’Golo Kante, he has taken full advantage of the opportunity and is eager to repay the faith shown in him by Lampard.
“Frank has come in and everyone is buzzing, training is really good and there’s a high standard to everything we do,” he told the Chelsea website. “There are exciting times ahead and hopefully I can work hard to get more opportunities as well.”
Gilmour is a player Lampard has seemingly been keeping an eye on for some time, with the teenager revealing he met the former England international at the club’s Cobham training base soon after completing his move from Rangers in 2017.
Having signed an extension, the Scot says the target now is to keep his place in the senior squad and help them challenge for honours.
“We’ve got a good enough team and we’ve started really well, so I don’t see why we can’t push on and challenge for the league,” he added. “Individually, I want to make sure I’m involved with the senior team as much as I can be and try to push for more appearances.”
Gilmour has also caught the eye at international level recently, having been a regular for the Scotland Under-21 side.
Former Scotland striker Kenny Miller has recently called on head coach of the national side Steve Clarke to draft Gilmour into the senior set-up, much like England did with Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi.