Frank Lampard was given a reminder of Billy Gilmour’s talent and potential as the midfielder scored a brilliant goal to help Chelsea’s development side come from two down to draw 2-2 with Manchester City on Sunday.
The 19-year-old burst onto the scene at Chelsea last season and established himself as one of the most exciting young prospects in the Premier League with a string of outstanding performances in Lampard’s first-team.
But Gilmour’s promising debut campaign was cut short due to a serious knee injury and the teenager – who required surgery – is yet to make an appearance for the Blues this term.
The Scotland Under-21 international returned to training at the end of last month and has since been stepping up his recovery, playing an hour of Chelsea’s EFL trophy defeat to Bristol Rovers last week.
And Gilmour managed to see out 90 minutes for the first time this weekend as Chelsea and City shared the points in a thrilling Premier League 2 encounter at the Academy Stadium.
A pair of quickfire goals from Liam Delap and Tommy Doyle gave City a healthy lead heading into the break but Gilmour reduced the deficit with a superb strike before Myles Peart-Harris equalised in the 68th minute.
Gilmour’s effort just after half-time was undoubtedly the pick of the goals…
Lampard confirmed last week that Gilmour had been making significant strides with his recovery but that he was yet to reach full match fitness.
‘He is fit again,’ the Chelsea head coach said.
‘He played on Wednesday night in the EFL Trophy, got good minutes and I’ve heard he played well so we are happy with him and he’ll play again at the weekend in the U23s.
‘He’s getting minutes but he’s not match fit.
‘That will be a short period as he is a generally fit boy.’
Lampard added: ‘He made great strides in a short time last year.
‘I was very confident with putting Billy in for a big part of the season, from his training and then when the time came.
‘I possibly held him back slightly at times looking back.
‘He put in some really good performances before his injury.
‘I’m really excited to have him back fit.’