Date of birth11 June 2001
Billy Gilmour is a midfielder who joined our Academy in the summer of 2017 from Glasgow Rangers, where he had been since the age of eight.
He is a technical individual with good game intelligence and awareness who creates plenty of goals and chances for his team-mates.
His first campaign south of the border was a positive one as he proved an integral part of Jody Morris' midfield in an unprecedented year of silverware success. He scored his first goal for our youth team on his debut in a September victory over Arsenal before establishing himself as a regular in the FA Youth Cup starting XI, featuring in every game and scoring at the Emirates Stadium in the final.
In July 2018, Gilmour signed a first professional contract at Chelsea and earned himself an extension in September the following year which runs until the end of the 2022/23 season.
Gilmour made his senior and Premier League debut on 31 August 2019 against Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge (below), before making his full debut under a month later against Grimsby Town in the 7-1 Carabao Cup victory, an eye-catching performance earned the praise of many including head coach Frank Lampard.
At the start of February 2020, Gilmour became a full-time member of the men's first-team squad, followed by a regular spell among our substitutes.
However, it was the following month that he announced his arrival on the big stage, in two games at the Bridge against Merseyside opposition. With several senior players missing through injury or suspension, six days brought Gilmour’s first starts in the FA Cup and Premier League, both memorable victories, and the midfielder picked up the Man of the Match awards in each of them.
There were no hints of nerves as he put in two mature performances, despite still being a couple of weeks short of his 19th birthday, playing a central role as we knocked Premier League leaders Liverpool out of the FA Cup 2-0 and then recorded our biggest league victory of the season, 4-0 against Everton in our last game before the season was suspended.
He remained part of the matchday squad after those more experienced players returned, making four further appearances before his season was ended early by an injury suffered in our 3-2 win over Crystal Palace. That was his 11th game of the campaign in a promising breakthrough 2020/21 for the teenager.
The Scottish teenager then netted himself three days later against Manchester City’s youngsters in Premier League 2 before finally making his senior return as a late substitute in the Champions League victory over Sevilla after five months on the sidelines.
There were also four consecutive FA Cup starts from the third round onwards but the return to form and fitness of midfield colleagues meant a run in the team was limited. Yet Thomas Tuchel’s faith in his number 23 was undoubted, particularly when he started a crucial league encounter with Manchester City in early May.
It was announced in early July 2021 that Gilmour would be embarking on his first loan - to Norwich City, freshly promoted to the Premier League.
A stellar 2019/20 season at Chelsea was rewarded with a call-up to the Scotland Under-21 squad for the Toulon Tournament – even though he was still only 16 – and the midfielder took home the Young Player of the Tournament award as the Scots finished in third place.
Gilmour’s self-confidence, composure and forward passing from midfield caught the eye once again throughout a rollercoaster 2020/21 season, of which he missed almost half due to injury.
His rising credentials saw him rewarded with a place in the Scotland squad for the first time ahead of Euro 2020 and he starred on his first start for the national team against England, being named Star of the Match by UEFA, before his tournament came to an early end following a positive Covid-19 test.