Former Blues Ashley Cole said he will “keep an eye on” Billy Gilmour and hopes the young midfielder will back stronger after an injury setback.

The 19-year-old is expected to be out for the next few months after undergoing knee surgery last month.

It was unfortunate for Gilmour, who had had a breakthrough season under Frank Lampard and appeared to be ahead of Jorginho in the pecking order after the Premier League restart.

When Chelsea visited Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park in July, Gilmour featured as a starter in a holding midfielder over the Italy international, but it was also his last appearance for the season as he suffered knee injury during the game.

Chelsea hero Cole, who also works as an academy coach at Chelsea, said he has big expectations for Gilmour and hopes the Scotland U-21s star will have an even better season next term.

(Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

He told 90Min: “I work with the Under-16s so I’m in the development stage of it, but obviously I’ve always gone back and gone to the training ground and watched the players develop.

“For me, hopefully Billy Gilmour will have a season to be remembered.

“Obviously he started well, then he got that injury so he’s had a little setback but hopefully next season he’ll come back stronger. He’s one I definitely want to keep my eye on.”

Cole highlighted that as a teenager, Gilmour has very good football intelligence; his game awareness and game understanding, which puts him in “good stead and ready” for first-team football.

(Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)

The former England international also praised how Chelsea have been developing their young talents.

“Yes, they go out on loan, but they come back as men, ready for first-team football at Chelsea,” he added.

Chelsea have recently sent a few young players on loan including young goalkeeper Jamie Cumming to League Two side Stevenage and Trevoh Chalobah to Ligue 1 club Lorient.

Have something to tell us about this article?