Thomas Tuchel Transfer admission and three big problems facing Billy Gilmour

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The Scotland midfielder has played just once since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel and was denied a loan move in January.

Thomas Tuchel says it was his decision to stop Billy Gilmour leaving Chelsea on loan in January and admits young midfielder has “three big problems” at Stamford Bridge in the form of N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho.

Gilmour has played just once since the German coach took charge at Stamford Bridge in January, and that was against Championship side Barnsley in the FA Cup fifth round.

The Scotland Under-21 international is highly-regarded at Chelsea and won over the Blues fanbase last season with back-to-back man-of-the-match performances against Liverpool and Everton.

A knee injury sustained during the Project Restart fixtures kept Gilmour out of action for five months and he has been unable to reassert himself in the starting XI since returning in November.

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He made only six appearances under Frank Lampard and there was the possibility the 19-year-old would leave Chelsea on loan in the final days of the transfer window, with interest in the youngster from clubs in the Premier League and abroad.

However, Tuchel has now confirmed it was his choice to keep Gilmour at Chelsea and that decision may cost the academy graduate a place in the Scotland senior squad for this summer’s European Championships.

“It’s absolutely no mistake,” Tuchel said yesterday in his pre-match press conference if he regretted keeping Gilmour at Stamford Bridge .

“It’s absolutely no mistake. It was unfortunately not his choice. It was my choice. The choice was made for Chelsea and not for the personal goals of Billy. He accepted it in a five-minute talk, he had no problem with it.

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“I actually hope he knows how much I appreciate him as a person and as a footballer.

“He has three big problems – N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho are three big problems. They are never injured and they perform at a level in central midfield that is not easy to compete with. This is the only thing. I have no trust issue with him. I have no problem with attitude.

“I can only strongly recommend the Scottish national team select him because this guy trains at the highest level. They should not be worried about his ability to compete. Still, we take the decisions for Chelsea and the squad is not too big.

“I feel Billy is a strong part of the squad. I know it is hard for him and we have talked now several times because sometimes he does not make it to the match-day squad because we play with two central midfielders and I already have one of the three guys I mentioned on the bench.

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“I go for other options to cover other possibilities during a match but it does not mean when you are out of the squad like Billy that you first have to find your way back to the bench, then you have to find your way back for five minutes, then you can start.

“You can start right away the next game. It can happen when you train in a positive attitude like Billy and with the quality he shows. This is the situation. Nothing has changed. I am super happy he is here. We need a strong four midfielders.


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