Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard has suggested midfielder Billy Gilmour could yet leave the club on loan in January, despite the young Scot impressing in recent displays.
Lampard was speaking after Gilmour excelled in the centre of the park as his Blues side secured their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 3-1 win over Luton Town on Sunday.
The 19-year-old was also a standout performer in Chelsea’s third round victory over Morecambe a fortnight ago, although he has made just two appearances in the Premier League this term.
However, despite his side’s struggles in the league and the need for a different formula, Lampard revealed after the Luton victory that Gilmour could still depart this month, although his performance against the Hatters has gone some way to convincing him he has the quality to make a difference in the short-term.
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The head coach said, as quoted by Football.London: “Playing like he did today [Sunday] is making it very difficult [not to give him more minutes] because I thought he was outstanding.
“His comfort on the ball, the way he moved it, his discipline, his personality was great. If he plays like he does today, it makes it very difficult for me not to give him a run.
“With his youth and the injury he had, and with the difficult run we’ve been on in the last month, it’s been a case of me finding the right time to get Billy in. Today felt like the right time and he was brilliant.
“In the short term for me, looking at things today, he won’t be going out on loan. Of course, we’ll keep that slightly open until the end of the month but Billy is a Chelsea player and the level he showed today highlights why he is a Chelsea player in the middle of the park.”