It looks like Chelsea mean business when it comes to incomings this summer. So far they have acquired Hakim Ziyech from Ajax and have an agreement to sign RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner. But, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard will have to balance it both ways where he will have some big decisions to make during this period, particularly potential outgoings.
One judgement he will have to make is whether or not Jorginho has a future at the club. There have been question marks on his ability and if he is capable of matching the Premier League’s high-intensity play.
Since arriving at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2018, the Italian international has made a fairly decent impression – only in his second year at the club. Of course, he was an essential cog of former Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri’s plans as he tried to implement his football philosophy last campaign.
However, having experienced two full years of football at Chelsea, the 28-year-old at times has looked vulnerable in the defensive phase of the game. Nevertheless, he has been part of a strong midfield at the club this season, forming a strong partnership with Matteo Kovacic in the double pivot.
But, Lampard will not be wanting to go into the transfer market if Jorginho were to leave the club as other positions that need addressing – defence being one of them. As predicted, there have been links with the midfielder and a reunion with Sarri at Juventus, which would be a third spell under the Italian.
Before football took an immediate stop in March because of COVID-19, one player, in particular, suffered the most after impressing in Chelsea’s last two matches. Billy Gilmour was exceptional against Liverpool and Everton where he received the man of the match in both games. Most people suggested that the Scot was ready for more game time during next season. However, if he were given assurances of more minutes on the pitch, Jorginho should be fearing the worst as Gilmour is seen as the long-term solution in the central of midfield.
How Does Gilmour Compare to Jorginho?
Lampard will know he can call upon youth once more after giving the likes of Reece James, Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount first-team opportunities this season. Gilmour is amongst that list and is the next academy player who is seen as a future Chelsea star. Lampard, a former Chelsea midfielder himself has already suggested that Gilmour can well play in the position that Jorginho occupies. The Italian has certainly adopted that position as his own this season for the Blues.
Similar to the 28-year-old, the Scot is steady playing with the ball, having an eye for a killer pass, awareness of space when receiving the ball and spraying the best pass possible. He’s able to do all this while showing work-rate and determination in the centre of midfield.
At 18, Gilmour has burst onto the scene at a good age. He can integrate with the other youngsters that Chelsea has in abundance, given he is gifted with more opportunities in the first-team. If he is allowed to excel, Chelsea could see the young midfielder emulate Jorginho at club level. One of Jorginho’s best qualities is his ability to dictate the tempo of a match. From observing him closely in his two first-team starts, Gilmour has shown he is able to do just that, despite his young age.
Making a statement in first-team cameos
Although Gilmour is clearly a favourite of Lampard’s, his age and inexperience have meant that he has been slowly integrated into the side this season. When selected, he has shown bags of quality in Chelsea’s last two matches before the coronavirus pandemic halted the football calendar.
On average, Gilmour has a tenacious element to his game with 1.2 tackles and 0.5 interceptions per 90 minutes. Granted he has only featured in a couple of matches, but when he has played, this will increase with experience and game time.
His best attribute is his passing ability. Similar to his Chelsea colleague Jorginho, Gilmour plays the right pass and averages 82.7 passes every 90 minutes in the Premier League. Statistics that nearly match Chelsea’s player of the season so far in Mateo Kovacic’s 83.4.
If the club decides to cash in on their vice-captain, it would be sensible to buy an experienced replacement. But, Gilmour could easily be the man to play that role and make it his own for the foreseeable future at Stamford Bridge.
Ahead of him lies a world of possibilities and a permanent starting spot in Frank Lampard’s midfield as part of the youth revolution at the club. He will have to be patient as the club has many outstanding midfielders at the club. If Gilmour continues remains focussed on his development, whilst showing the right attitude in training, Lampard will utilise his attributes to good effect. Right now, Chelsea have a brilliant midfielder in their ranks, and his manager will be hoping he can emulate past and previous midfielders at the club.