Billy Gilmour

Chelsea Billy Gilmour
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Chelsea’s Gilmour, Liverpool’s Henderson out for season

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Chelsea star Billy Gilmour and Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson have both been ruled out for lengthy periods due to serious knee injuries.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

Gilmour, 19, has undergone surgery after the right knee injury he suffered against Crystal Palace was much worse than previously feared.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard confirmed that Gilmour could be out for up to four months.

“Billy had an operation on his knee [Friday] morning, we estimate he will be out for between three and four months unfortunately. I’m very disappointed, as we all are here,” Lampard said. “He’s a tough boy, it hit him hard especially as a young boy who has just made a breakthrough. I told him he should be very pleased with what he’s done and the impact he’s had this season anyway. His attitude will get him back as quickly as he can.”

Gilmour has slotted in superbly in his debut Premier League season as the “Irn-Bru Iniesta” looks a star in the making due to his composure and creativity on the ball in central midfield.

Henderson
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As for a player at the opposite end of his career, Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson is also out for the rest of the season but he could be back for the start of the 2020-21 campaign.

Henderson, 30, suffered the injury in a tackle with Yves Bissouma in Liverpool’s 3-1 win at Brighton on Tuesday.

Jurgen Klopp confirmed that Liverpool feared the worst but Henderson doesn’t need surgery and although he will miss the rest of this season, he could be back for the start of the 2020-21 season.

“Hendo is actually really the best possible of all the bad news. It is a knee injury, but no surgery needed,” Klopp said. “He will not play anymore in the latter stage of this season but I am pretty positive he will start with us the new season. We were all concerned in the moment we saw him in going down and when he left the pitch and stuff like this. Yesterday when we got the news, it was a big relief for all of us. It is not cool, obviously, but it is the best we could get. Hendo will be back; he is a quick healer and he will be back soon.”

Liverpool also confirmed that Henderson will lift the Premier League trophy as planned as his imperious displays from central midfield have been a hallmark of their incredible season.

It is now time for Naby Keita, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to get some extra minutes, with Georginio Wijnaldum and Fabinho mainstays in central midfield.

Lampard issues Pulisic injury update, verdict on halftime subs

Pulisic injury update
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Days after hailing Christian Pulisic as a player who can reach the levels of Mohamed Salah and Raheem Sterling, the American’s manager at Chelsea was detailing the player’s injury concerns.

Frank Lampard got another strong performance out of Pulisic in Chelsea’s 1-0 win at Leicester City in the FA Cup quarterfinal on Sunday, but removed the player with 18 minutes to play.

“He felt tightness in his calf during second drinks break so took him off straight away,” Lampard said, via Football.London. “We’ll see in next day. Andreas had a problem in his hip, didn’t feel comfortable in training yesterday so was out of the squad.”

[ MORE: U.S. coach Marsch wins Austrian double ]

The game was not in Chelsea’s favor at halftime, and the manager did not hesitate to remove three young players.

Reece James was the best of the three but was removed for mainstay Cesar Azpilicueta, while struggling Billy Gilmour and Mason Mount were replaced by Mateo Kovacic and eventual goal scorer Ross Barkley.

“Mason has given a lot of input in two games this week. Reece hasn’t played in a long time, Billy the same. They are going to be top players for this club no matter what. A fact of how I saw the game. They all train well, have great work ethic. Just the circumstances today.”

We’ll hope for the best on Pulisic, who will want to continue to assert himself as a starter before Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, and perhaps others arrive for Chelsea’s 2020-21 season.

Plus: “Christian Pulisic, FA Cup winner” would be a nice line for the USMNT star’s resume.

Lampard happy after young lineup clobbers League Two’s Grimsby Town

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Chelsea boss Frank Lampard knew he had a golden chance to blood some youngsters with a League Cup visit from League Two side Grimsby Town on Wednesday.

The Blues players then turned the blooding into a bloodletting, scoring seven times in a blowout defeat of the Mariners at Stamford Bridge.

[ RECAP: Chelsea 7-1 Grimsby Town ]

Billy Gilmour superb, Marc Guehi solid,” Lampard said of two of his youngsters, via Football.London. “Now it’s about where they go with this. It says a lot about the academy, the chance to mix the team was something that I had to take up. It says that we have good young players, but now it’s about confidence and their levels. I wasn’t happy at half-time, the goal was a disaster, I showed them a video of the danger, and that could cost you.”

Guehi was dragged out of position in the concession, a Chelsea specialty this year as the Blues have struggled to keep clean sheets, but was otherwise solid (and Marcos Alonso did just as poorly on the goal).

In addition to Guehi and Gilmour starting, Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi scored pretty goals. Seventeen-year-olds Faustino Anjorin and Ian Maatsen debuted for Frank Lampard, and fellow young bucks Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori didn’t even have to dress.

Heck, Christian Pulisic was almost an elder statesman (The American had an assist on the night).

After a pair of second half subs took out Pedro and Alonso, the Blues’ XI average age would’ve been under the American drinking age were it not for Wily Caballero.

Lampard was especially happy for Hudson-Odoi, who scored in his first senior appearance since a long-term injury and new contract:

“I think he is going to be a big player for this club,” Lampard said. “If he shows his real qualities. To get Callum signed up is good. First half not so sure, in the second half it was in better positions. It was about getting behind people, that’s what it’s about.”

Chelsea has a forgiving run of fixtures ahead, and Lampard’s challenge will be finding the right mix and the right amount of playing time. If he does that, the Blues will likely be in very good shape for a Top Four battle in the second half of the season.

Lampard baffled by Chelsea draw: “It was under control”

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Frank Lampard is having trouble wrapping his mind around Chelsea’s problems getting anything comfortable out of its leads.

The Blues have led in each of their last three matches but taken just five points from Leicester City, Norwich City, and Sheffield United.

[ RECAP: Chelsea 2-2 Sheff Utd ]

On Saturday, Chelsea led 2-0 before drawing the newly-promoted Blades 2-2 at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard mentions the youth of the players, but perhaps should consider the relative inexperience of the manager as his team lost points at home to Sheffield United that  most teams — let alone most contenders — will not. From the BBC:

“It was under control, it is our fault for gifting them a goal in the first minute of the second half. It’s a similar story already. The game should have been comfortable and we have dropped two points. We want to win games, the emergence of youth is one thing but winning games is another. When you are 2-0 up at half-time you should win the game.”

Lampard said there should be “no chance” a game could swing in the way it did, but here Chelsea sits in real danger of being bottom half at the international break.

Lampard’s subs in this match were all focused on scoring goals, not preventing them, with the exception being 18-year-old midfielder Billy Gilmour coming on for 2-goal man Tammy Abraham in the 84th minute. Gilmour was making his PL debut, however.

Chasing the restoration of your 2-goal lead at home is a fair aim, but he finished the game with Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso on the bench. Heck, even Olivier Giroud would’ve been an experienced choice over Gilmour (whose debut is terrific and wasn’t at fault for the draw).

Our take: Lampard thought the game was in hand. It obviously wasn’t.

Chelsea to sign 15-year-old wonderkid Billy Gilmour

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Billy Gilmour, aged just 15, has signed for Chelsea from Rangers FC and will join up the Premier League champions elect this summer.

[ MORE: Who is Billy Gilmour? ]

The Scottish youth international (see him in action in the video above) has already been on the bench for Rangers’ first team and has impressed many with his touch, technique and vision on the ball.

Chelsea have a long-standing policy of locking up the most talented youngsters in Europe and the loaning them out to clubs across England and the European continent to gain experience. So, this signing is nothing out of the ordinary for the west London club but it does signify a massive coup.

The highly-regarded teenager was chased by the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and plenty of other Premier League club.

Below is the statement from Rangers as they are sad to see their academy product leave but could not stand in his way.

Rangers can confirm that agreement has been reached for our under-16 player Billy Gilmour to join Chelsea in the summer.

The club’s preference would have been for Billy to stay at Rangers but when he made clear his desire to move to the Premier League it was important that we maximised the commercial value for him. We believe we have done this.

The agreement will provide Rangers with a significant sum for a young player who has yet to play first-team football, and further significant amounts could be due based on milestones being reached. We are pleased with this outcome and believe this deal represents good value for Rangers.

That he was sought after by many Premiership clubs, and indeed a number of the largest clubs in Europe, further demonstrates the quality of player now being produced by the Academy. Everyone at Rangers wishes Billy well for his future.