As one of the most exciting talents to emerge from Scotland alongside Kieran Tierney, Chelsea have a precocious youngster in Billy Gilmour. The young star has played in a few key games, not least a League Cup win at Anfield where he bossed a more experienced midfield. His showing at Wembley Stadium for his national team in a 0-0 draw with England, too, was hugely impressive. Circulating the ball well, playing smart passes, keeping possession, and ensuring teammates were never left short; it was a man’s performance from a young boy. However, might it still be worth his while for a loan?
Those at Chelsea seem to think so. Gilmour looks set to go on loan – though most insiders suggest ignoring reports of a loan move to Glasgow Rangers. Despite coming through at the Ibrox club, Gilmour was quick to leave the hustle and bustle of the Scottish game. Even if the Scottish champions make it through the UEFA Champions League qualification process, it is likely that a season of regular gametime in the Premier League would be seen as more beneficial than a few games in the UCL.
As such, expect a few Premier League clubs to make loan bids for Gilmour. A move that has popped up has been Southampton. Playing under a coach with a similar philosophy to Thomas Tuchel might make sense, with Ralph Hasenhüttl an excellent coach in his own right. However, is the Scot likely to get enough gametime in a team that boasts central midfield as its most stacked position?
The crucial part of this loan will be to see Gilmour play as many games as he can for a coach who is fearless and has no problem relying upon young loanees.
Where will Billy Gilmour go on loan?
One place the young star is expected to arrive at is Norwich City. Playing under a progressive coach in Daniel Farke, Gilmour would also team-up with international teammates in Grant Hanley and Kenny McLean. It would give Gilmour almost certain gametime at the elite level, and would allow him to play for a coach who has no problem committing time to young players.
The likes of Max Aarons, Todd Cantwell, and Emi Buendia can point to the outstanding work done to their career prospects thanks to playing for a coach like Farke. Gilmour would play for a team that looks to attack and go forward, and would see regular opportunity to play as he would offer a higher profile name for the Norwich midfielder.
Though the Canaries are seen as the favourite, other loan links all have strong Scottish connections. Talk of a loan to Aston Villa would see him pair up with John McGinn, while a move to West Ham United would see him work with respected Scottish coach David Moyes.
Though pairing Gilmour up with Scots is not the priority, it would help with acclimatising to a new competitive situation which would only benefit Chelsea in the years to come.