Speaking ahead of the FA Cup clash against Sheffield United, Thomas Tuchel said Billy Gilmour would not have to fight his way back into the Chelsea team and might start in the next game.
The 19-year-old has made just one appearance under the new manager so far, in last month’s FA Cup win 1-0 over Barnsley.
He was an unused sub in the Atletico Madrid win on Wednesday, thanks to Jorginho’s suspension, but had rarely made the matchday squad prior to that.
Tuchel recently clarified that it has nothing to do with a lack of trust, but rather because he prefers the other more experienced midfielders.
“He [Gilmour] has three big problems – N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho,” the Chelsea manager said in his press conference (via the club’s official website).
“They are never injured and they perform on a level in central midfield which is not easy to compete with.
“This is the only thing, I have no trust issue with him, I have no problem with his attitude.”
Gilmour ‘can start right away’
Tuchel admitted that he already had several conversations with Gilmour about the difficult situation.
In his 3-4-3 system, there are only two midfield roles which means Tuchel will always have one of Kante, Kovacic or Jorginho on the bench when they are available.
“But it does not mean that when you are out of the squad like Billy, that you first have to find your way back to the bench, and then find your way back for five minutes [before] you can start,” he added.
“You can start right away the next game.
“It can happen when you train in a positive attitude like Billy and with the quality that he shows.
“So this is the situation, I’m super happy that he is here, we need four strong midfielders and we have four.”
Given both Kante and Kovacic played full 90 minutes in the high-intensity game against Atletico, it will be sensible to start Jorginho and Gilmour in midfield on Sunday.