The news was confirmed by Frank Lampard, who also praised the young Scot’s progress and potential over the past 18 months, insisting the teenager ‘is going to be a big player for us for a long time to come'.
Gilmour has not featured for Chelsea since damaging the meniscus in his right knee in our 3-2 win at Crystal Palace following the post-lockdown restart in the summer. He made a brief cameo for Scotland Under-21s last week, though that was cut short by a bizarre red card, and played an hour for our youngsters in the EFL Trophy on Wednesday night.
While short of match fitness, Lampard is pleased to see Gilmour back on the pitch.
‘He is fit again,’ reported the boss. ‘He played on Wednesday night in the EFL Trophy, got good minutes and I’ve heard he played well so we are happy with him and he’ll play again at the weekend in the Under-23s.
‘He’s getting minutes but he’s not match fit. That will be a short period as he is a generally fit boy.’
The 19-year-old made 11 appearances under Lampard last term during an impressive breakthrough campaign and caught the eye with man-of-the-match performances in back-to-back games against Liverpool and Everton before the shutdown.
While competition for places in the team has intensified following our summer recruitment, Lampard believes Gilmour can continue to make a big impact on the senior stage at Stamford Bridge.
‘He made great strides in a short time last year,’ continued the Blues head coach. ‘I was very confident with putting Billy in for a big part of the season, from his training and then when the time came.
‘I possibly held him back slightly at times looking back. He put in some really good performances before his injury.
‘We must put some context on it that he is still a young player and we have good competition in the squad in that area but I have absolute faith in Billy that he is going to be a big player for us for a long time to come. I’m really excited to have him back fit.’
Our development squad take on Manchester City in Premier League 2 this weekend looking to bounce back from three consecutive defeats. You can watch the action unfold live and for free on this website and the 5th Stand app. Kick-off at City’s Academy Stadium is 1pm.