Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has hinted teenage prospect Billy Gilmour could start in the Champions League next week against Krasnodar, speaking to the club’s official website.
The young Scot made his return to action on Wednesday as a late substitute following time on the sidelines due to a long-term knee problem.
Now Lampard is looking to ease Gilmour back into the fold. He has earmarked next week’s Champions Leage clash at Stamford Bridge as the perfect opportunity to give the 19-year-old some game time.
“The quality of Billy will hopefully mean he gets some minutes, particularly when we look at the Champions League game coming up in midweek,” Lampard said ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League clash with Leeds United.
Gilmour hits the ground running
Gilmour made an instant impact when he was drafted into the first team last season. He looked at home straight away, particularly impressing in the FA Cup tie against Liverpool.
Yet Chelsea have strengthened considerably since Gilmour last featured. Summer signing Kai Havertz has offered depth to a midfield that already contains N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount.
Lampard acknowledges competition for places in his team is fierce. Nevertheless, he expects Gilmour to prove he belongs, despite admitting it will be difficult to keep all his players happy.
“We are competitive in midfield,” the Blues boss said.
“We don’t have injuries at the moment and the numbers do mean some players will miss out on squads.
“I think Billy’s quality will shine through but obviously there is competition in that area – so we’ll have to see.”
Chelsea aim for top spot
Chelsea can go top of the Premier League with a win tomorrow. The side remains unbeaten since September and looks more than good enough to mount a title challenge.
Lampard confirmed he has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the clash at Stamford Bridge.
He must now decide whether to stick with Olivier Giroud, who scored four goals in midweek, or revert back to Tammy Abraham, his preferred striking option in the league this season.
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