Tuchel: It’s time for Gilmour to step up

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel wasn’t too keen on handing out starting appearances to Billy Gilmour in the Premier League, but the German has been forced to consider the 19-year-old midfielder following the injury to Mateo Kovacic.

Kovacic has been absent for a month now, as he got injured in the build-up to the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final clash against Porto.

With only N’Golo Kante and Jorginho available for the double-pivot role in the middle of the park, Tuchel had to consider the young Scottish midfielder.

Gilmour’s first Premier League start under Tuchel was in the Premier League clash against Fulham, but he looked a bit rusty in that game. Tuchel would then trust him against Manchester City, and the youngster hailed as the Scottish Iniesta was brilliant in that game.

With Kovacic still out, Tuchel has confirmed that Gilmour will have some more minutes before the season draws to a close, and he has asked the youngster to step up.

Tuchel told reporters: “Billy Gilmour had to step up now because we miss Kova so much and we play normally always with a double-six, so we were rotating constantly between N’Golo, Jorgi and Kova.

“Once we miss Kova now for so many games, so many weeks, it was on Billy to step up and I was very happy that he could deliver when it was needed.

“So full credit for that, but Kova is a big loss with his ability to drive with the ball, his speed on the ball, without the ball. Kova is such a positive character and unique player, a mean fighter on who you can always rely in games and training.”

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