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Chelsea teenager Gilmour eager for more first-team experience after recovering from 'worst feeling ever'

5:26 PM IST 11/01/21
Billy Gilmour Chelsea 2020-21
The talented young midfielder has opened up on his injury struggles and short-term goals at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea teenager Billy Gilmour is eager for more first-team experience after recovering from the "worst feeling ever".

Gilmour has enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence since breaking into Chelsea's senior squad in 2019.

The 19-year-old featured in 11 games across all competitions for the Blues last season, showing maturity and quality belying his age while operating in the middle of the park alongside N'Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic.

However, the midfielder's progress was halted by a knee injury in July, and he was forced to begin an extensive rehabilitation programme after undergoing successful surgery on the issue.

Gilmour made his long-awaited return to action as a late substitute during a Champions League victory over Sevilla in December, and the Scottish starlet has since been working to try and win back a regular spot in Frank Lampard's line-up.

Before taking in the full 90 minutes of a 4-0 home win over Morecambe in a third-round FA Cup tie on Sunday, the young playmaker opened up on his early career development, as well as his relationship with his team-mates and manager.

"I’ve enjoyed my own pathway," Gilmour told Chelsea's official website. "Of course, I need to get more first-team experience but I’m still young, I’m still learning and there’s plenty of time for that.

"I just work hard every day in training and try to take my opportunities. I love being around the boys, I love training with the team and I love working with the gaffer so hopefully, that just continues."

Asked how he coped without football for the best part of five months, the Scotland Under-21 international added: "It was difficult. After having the operation, I just missed football so much and wanted to get back as quickly as possible.

"I’d never had that time away from it before and especially during lockdown, I couldn’t really do anything.

"I had just moved into my own place and you want to do stuff around the house but you can’t when you’ve only got one leg and you’re hopping around on crutches.

"It was the worst feeling ever but the physios really helped me a lot to get my leg and knee stronger.

"I still need to keep on top of the exercises to make sure the knee stays mobile and strong but it’s completely fine now."