With the news emerging from Chelsea that Billy Gilmour will be part of Chelsea’s development group rather than Thomas Tuchel’s first-team squad during the West London’s pre-season tour of the USA, it would appear Gilmour will be looking at yet another loan swap rather than first team EPL exposure in the season ahead.
Chelsea have extended Billy Gilmour’s contract until the summer of 2024 after the club exercised an option in the midfielder’s contract, yet having been cut from Tuchel’s pre-season plans you can safely assume that has been done to allow the Scotland international to find another club to move to for the season ahead.
With first team opportunities likely to be limited with the likes of Jorginho, N’golo Kante, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Sam Gallagher, Matteo Kovavic and Mason Mount all ahead of the talented Gilmour in the Stamford Bridge pecking order, a switch a way makes a lot of sense for all parties concerned.
Gilmour is certainly a talented player, and it’s no shame not to have forced his way into first team contention with Chelsea given the embarrassment of riches in Tuchel’s midfield, but given his last loan destination of Norwich was something of a disastrous move, could a loan switch to Celtic bring about a blossoming of Gilmour’s undoubted talent?
Callum McGregor and Billy Gilmour have built up an impressive understanding with the national team and there is little doubt Gilmour would benefit from playing in an attack minded side with a greater deal of ball possession and attacking intent than he would have experienced fighting relegation with Norwich. With Celtic having lost both Nir Bitton and Tom Rogic from last season’s first team roster, perhaps there is room for Gilmour in Celtic’s midfield for the season ahead, and an option that would allow for a talented player to join the team without a transfer fee attached.
Of course, there is theRangers connection to contend with and perhaps that would be a tough bridge to navigate for both sides, yet whilst the maternal line of Gilmour’s family tree is of a blue persuasion the paternal line is not, perhaps therefore such a switch for the former Ibrox youth product may not be as unpalatable as some may think.
Everton and Frank Lampard seem to be the strongest contender thus far when it comes to securing Gilmour’s services for the season ahead, and given his former boss knows his game and gave the player his first team breakthrough, it would be safe to assume the Toffees would be front of the queue this summer. But Champions’ League Group stage football isn’t on offer at Goodison, while it very much is at Celtic. Perhaps that may be enough to turn Gilmour’s head in the direction of Glasgow’s east end, rather than Merseyside.
It may well be viewed as a controversial move for Gilmour to consider, but when such a talent is available and Celtic have midfield vacancies, the chance to pick up a player of such ability must surely be worth Celtic and Gilmour’s consideration.