After his performance against Barnsley, Billy Gilmour showed he is back at his best for Chelsea. Although the match was against a lower league team, Gilmour displayed all the right qualities to deserve a start.
Everyone knows the potential Billy Gilmour has and what he can bring to the team. In Chelsea’s current squad, however, it is difficult to fit him in. Nevertheless, Gilmour has all the qualities to displace some players within the squad. His passing, his movement off the ball, and his tackles are all attributes the team can benefit from.
The first thing Chelsea is missing are forward passing from the deep midfielders. This can also be referred to as the “Cesc Fabregas” style of passing. Currently, there are no players that provide said attribute on a constant basis. This, of course, has been one of causes for the lack of attacking power.
Against Barnsley, Gilmour afforded his teammates several opportunities with those passes. Although not all were completed, nor did his teammates take advantage of them, the intentions were present. And, in reality, that is already more than other players are providing on the field. Gilmour is not just standing to offload a pass to the nearest player in blue. He picks his head up and looks for the best and most threatening pass. Although these are the basics of any midfielder, he does it better than others.
The second thing he offers is his movement off the ball. Let’s be honest, he is not a flashy player, therefore any tricks to get past opponents are not expected of him. But his simplicity and space awareness are underrated. Gilmour is always open to receive the ball. In fact, it is rare to find him under pressure. That is because he knows when to ask for the ball and when to move to receive it.
His movement allows him to play the different dimensions of the field. Under Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea is keeping more possession of the ball than they did under Frank Lampard. In doing so, Billy can move around as much as he wants into the spaces that best suit him. Thereby, not only dictating how fast the team, but how aggressive in the attack the team proceeds.
Lastly, his tackles, make him a true deep-lying midfielder. It is very easy to compare Gilmour to the likes of John Obi Mikel and John Terry in that respect. Despite his young age, Billy plays with high levels of aggression to scare most seasoned players. He goes straight into the attacking player with no fear and recovers the ball. Although Chelsea already has someone like that in N’Golo Kante, one more player is still nice to have.
Gilmour brings all the promise of a top player, but he is not ready to start every game. However, he does deserve to play more than he has as of late. Giving him more minutes, particularly a start in Premier League games. There, he will experience the intensity he needs to grow to the next level. Therefore, it is time to make Billy Gilmour a necessity, not a luxury.