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A great signing usually tends to lift up a team, and we have clearly seen that with Manchester United as the signing of Bruno Fenanades has lifted up morale at Old Trafford.
Since United completed the signing of Bruno Fenanades in January, the Red Devils are yet to lose a game in all competitions – that’s just what a good signing can do. Meanwhile, the Blues badly needed a lift in January but got no signing and seemed to have struggled even more since January.
But recent performances now show that Frank Lampard’s side has gotten a lift, and that lift has come from a youngster in Billy Gilmour. The 18-year-old has had back to back starts against Liverpool and Everton, and Chelsea won those games 2-0 and 4-0 respectively. These are games that Chelsea would easily have dropped points this season especially at home, but the Blues didn’t just win, but they won very well, playing some beautiful football in the process and keeping a clean sheet.
Gilmour played the Jorginho role and has done so impeccably. Besides being comfortable on the ball and having a nice range of passing, the youngster has brought two things to the Chelsea midfield – positional discipline and forward passes. Gilmour has played twice in a row for Chelsea, and the Blues have kept a clean sheet, and it could as well be attributed to how the youngster plays. The 18-year-old maintains his position in front of the defence and doesn’t go out of play, with and without the ball, thus giving Chelsea presence in the middle of the park. Not to belittle Jorginho, but the midfield ace has a knack for leaving his position to press high up and thus expose the midfield.
Also, besides just making the midfield tick, Gilmour also initiates attack from deep with his forward passes. He had an incredible pass rate of 92.5 per cent against Everton – completing 74 of his 80 passes – and made 72 good passes and crosses.
Gilmour’s introduction to the team has also seen a revival in the performances of Ross Barkley and Mason Mount, who have both been struggling in recent games. Pedro and Willian have also improved, and while it’s only just two games, the performance is worth all the attention.
Indeed, Gilmour has been a breath of fresh air to the team and we can only hope this lasts.