Frank Lampard has afforded a number of opportunities to young prospects at Chelsea in his first season in charge at the club, but a recent debut from one highly-rated prospect could mark the start of a breakthrough season at Stamford Bridge.
Billy Gilmour, 18, was brought on as a substitute in the club’s Premier League fixture against Sheffield United, but was given his first start in the club’s comprehensive 7-1 victory over Grimsby Town in the Carabao Cup.
Unlike several of his fellow teammates such as Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham, Gilmour was brought into the club’s youth academy at a later stage in his academy progress, signing from Rangers just over two years ago.
Since arriving at the club, Gilmour has impressed within the club’s academy and his first start against Grimsby could pave the way for a number of starts in the 2019/20 campaign.
Competition for places is particularly high at Stamford Bridge, especially considering Lampard’s belief and backing of young yet unproven prospects, and consequently Gilmour could fall down the pecking order in terms of the manager’s priorities.
The 18-year-old has earned public praise from Lampard who has spoken about his impressive attitude in training, whilst Scotland manager Steve Clarke spoke earlier this week regarding his decision to not call-up the youngster to the seniors and instead enable his development to continue with the U21 side.
With considerable praise from both his club and national managers, the stage is set for Gilmour to establish himself as an irresistible option in Lampard’s first-choice XI. If he is afforded further opportunities in Chelsea’s first-team, then there is no reason that the 18-year-old cannot make the 2019/20 campaign his breakthrough season at Stamford Bridge.