Why Chelsea’s decision to offer Billy Gilmour a new deal would reap rewards
According to the London Evening Standard, Chelsea starlet Billy Gilmour has put pen to paper on a brand new four-year deal at Stamford Bridge, with the teenager extending his stay at the club until the summer of 2023.
Gilmour was handed his senior debut for Chelsea by Frank Lampard earlier in the summer in a pre-season friendly against Bohemians and also remained an unused substitute in the Blues’ UEFA Super Cup defeat to Liverpool.
He eventually made his senior professional bow for Chelsea as a late substitute in the 2-2 draw against Sheffield United in the Premier League before the international break.
Born in Glasgow, Gilmour started his career in the youth ranks of Rangers and was fast-tracked into the senior ranks at Ibrox following his rapid development, although he never made a professional appearance for the Gers.
Having failed to make a breakthrough at Rangers despite appearing in a few matchday squads, Gilmour completed a switch north of the border a couple of years back when he joined Chelsea in the summer of 2017.
After featuring for the U-18s in the triumphant FA Youth Cup campaign in his first season in West London, the Scottish prodigy signed his first professional contract with the Blues in 2018 and his meteoric rise to the first-team this term has certainly had a lot to do with the arrival of Lampard.
Despite their mediocre start to the ongoing Premier League campaign, Chelsea’s alteration in their stance towards handling academy has grabbed the headlines, with youngsters like Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount proving their credentials at the highest level.
Indeed, the fountain of youth is currently flowing at Stamford Bridge. Had it not been for the injuries to Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James, the fans would probably have been lucky enough to see a lot more of the academy stars performing together in the same team in the opening stages of the new campaign.
To that end, Chelsea offering their latest breakthrough star, Billy Gilmour, with a new long-term deal is a clear statement of intent signifying the club’s renewal of faith in their academy talents under the stewardship of Lampard.
Already an international for Scotland at the U-21 level, the 18-year-old has been touted for a big future in football ever since his days in the youth ranks at Ibrox and Chelsea’s decision to keep him at the club for the foreseeable future could pay rich dividends.
Ideally, a loan spell at a Championship club would be the next step in Gilmour’s development curve, as a temporary drop in the division could make his transition to senior football a lot easier and smoother.
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However, if Lampard feels that there are chances of him playing regularly at Stamford Bridge this term, the 18-year-old might as well be able to further his development at Cobham.
Either way, Chelsea’s decision to offer Gilmour a new deal should come as a breath of fresh air to the fans and definitely indicative of a big change in the air at Stamford Bridge.