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Chelsea exercise option to extend promising 21-year-old’s Stamford Bridge stay

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Chelsea exercise the option to extend Billy Gilmour’s contract  until 2024.

Chelsea exercise the option to extend Billy Gilmour’s contract until 2024

As confirmed by the club’s official Twitter account, Billy Gilmour has extended his Chelsea contract until 2024, as the club has now triggered an option on his previous deal to do so. The 21-year-old Scotland international has shown maturity beyond his years and has often been hailed as one for Chelsea’s future. 

Having joined the Chelsea academy from Rangers in 2017, Gilmour went on to become a regular squad player following a transfer ban on the West London club which prevented them from signing new players and subsequently, then-boss Frank Lampard’s reliance on youth to negate the effect of the transfer ban. 

That worked wonders, taking into account the context. Lampard showed tremendous faith in the youngster and that trust was duly repaid. Gilmour produced man-of-the-match displays against Liverpool and Everton before the season got temporarily suspended due to the pandemic. 

Following Project Restart, he sustained an injury against Crystal Palace which brought an abrupt end to his maiden season in senior top-flight football.  He made 11 first-team appearances that season, which doesn’t sound groundbreaking, but his match awareness, touch, the weight of pass and game intelligence were there for everyone to see. Chelsea earned a fourth-place finish in the 2019/20 season, qualifying for the subsequent season’s Champions League. The rest is history. 

While the Scot didn’t play a significant part in the latter half of the 2020/21 season under Thomas Tuchel since the German took over from Lampard, Gilmour can still call himself a Champions League winner. He did more than his part in helping the club qualify for the tournament, to begin with.

Chelsea exercise the option to extend Billy Gilmour’s contract  until 2024.
Billy Gilmour will get another chance to shine under Thomas Tuchel. (GETTY Images)

Last season, however, it didn’t go to plan. He spent the campaign on loan at relegated Norwich City, making 28 appearances but needless to say, it was a forgettable spell at a struggling club. 

Gilmour has also gone on to establish himself as a key player for the Scotland senior national team, having earned his first cap only last summer during Euro 2020. 

Will Tuchel consider Gilmour for next season’s squad? 

The answer to that question lies very much up in the air. Thomas Tuchel will consider a total reshuffle of the pack this summer and is likely to consider many youth players. 

One of the first names that come to mind is Conor Gallagher, who had a remarkable loan spell at Crystal Palace. Then there’s striker Armando Broja, who performed excellently for Southampton. 

Tuchel knows Gilmour’s profile very well and will almost certainly consider him for pre-season. He has shown faith in him before when he named Gilmour to start against Manchester City in a crucial league game towards the tail-end of the 20/21 season. 

Chelsea exercise the option to extend Billy Gilmour’s contract  until 2024.
Billy Gilmour is coming off the back of a poor loan spell at Norwich City. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

Some names in midfield are likely to depart the club too, to free up space in the squad. Danny Drinkwater was released by the club, while those at SW6 are also willing to “listen to offers” for Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Timo Werner. 

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Todd Boehly’s era at Chelsea may put more prominence on youth, rather than on established, big-money names moving to clubs for record fees. In that case, Gilmour is more than going to get the chance and given the Scot’s fiery grit and determination, expect him to swing for the fences and make it count. 

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