An 18-year old Chelsea prospect has revealed his delight at taking Frank Lampard’s advice to stay and fight for his place with the Chelsea first-team instead of seeking a loan move away.
With a two window transfer ban, Chelsea have revitalised their squad by giving opportunities to a number of homegrown youngsters that would seemingly have struggled to breakthrough under previous regimes.
The likes of Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham have all become regulars at Stamford Bridge under the guidance of club legend Lampard, and a new name that has been spotted in matchday squads this season is that of Scotland under-21 international Billy Gilmour.
The teenage starlet made his first-team debut as a late second half substitute in the Blues’ hard-fought draw with Sheffield United in August, then made his maiden start in the Carabao Cup versus League Two Grimsby Town.
“In pre-season, the manager had a chat with me saying he knew I wanted to go on loan but said it would be better if I stayed,” said Gilmour.
“Obviously it’s working. He’s looking at younger players.
“With the transfer ban it’s hard but it’s good experience for us. Hopefully, I can try to get more first-team games.”
Speaking on the simple but effective management style Lampard employs, Gilmour said: “He talks to you normally, tells you you’re doing well and says if I want to keep training with them I need to keep my standards up.
“I wanted to follow my dream and to play in the Premier League and choosing Chelsea has turned out to be the right move. I’m enjoying it. The plan for me was set up and I’m now ahead of the plan.
“I thought I was going to play two years at Under-18s but I played one at 18s and then moved on to the Under-23s.
“This year should be my first year at 23s but I’m one of the senior players.
“I am training with the first-team and I have had a couple of games so I’m in a good position now.”