This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
Billy Gilmour has signed a new contract with Chelsea until 2023.
The 18-year-old who joined the Blues from Rangers two years ago recently made his debut against Sheffield United and, despite his recent injury, it would appear that he has a bright future ahead of him.
The Blues clearly recognise that potential, and they have moved to tie him down for the foreseeable future.
Chelsea’s loan system is infamous.
However, there are several success stories amongst those. In fact, we can see at least two examples in the current Chelsea squad. Tammy Abraham has spent the previous three seasons with different sides, and has now forced his way into the first-team. Mason Mount, as well, has a similar story.
The 20-year-old midfielder, who recently earned his first two England caps, was with Vitesse Arnhem for the 2017/18 campaign, and then went to Derby County last term. On both occasions, he impressed. With the Eredivisie club, he was their Player of the Year, while he was a regular starter with the Rams under current Blues boss Frank Lampard. Now, he has earned his chance with Chelsea.
Unlike under previous managers, younger players appear to be getting opportunities under Lampard. Of course, much of that is down to their heavily publicised transfer ban that left the club unable to buy players in the summer.
Currently for Gilmour, though, there is too much competition ahead of him in the middle of the park. Jorginho, Ross Barkley, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have already established themselves and will likely be rotated in those positions.
As such, a loan deal could do Gilmour the world of good. Of course, he is unable to leave now, but in January he could depart and find himself getting consistent minutes. It is all well and good being an important member of the development squad but, at this stage in his career, regular football is the next step, and Chelsea cannot offer that in the immediate future.
Such is his potential, there should be a host of sides who are willing to take him, even if it is on a short-term basis. Whether it be for six months, or even with another season on top, Gilmour will benefit from being able to play at a competitive, professional level week-in, week-out.