Football

Billy Gilmour Opens Up on Why He Swapped Rangers For Chelsea

Billy Gilmour Opens Up on Why He Swapped Rangers For Chelsea

Billy Gilmour has opened up on why he swapped Rangers for Chelsea last summer.

The 16-year-old midfielder has only been at Stamford Bridge a year, but he’s already contributed to their youth teams picking up four trophies and that’s culminated in his call-up to the Scotland Under 21 squad for the prestigious Toulon Tournament.

Gilmour could line up against France in Scotland’s second game later today and, ahead of that, the SFA have released an interview they did with the Blues youngster.

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In it, he talks about his aims for club and country, while also revealing why he chose to leave Rangers last summer to sign on at the English giants.

At the time, Gilmour was subject of some criticism, with plenty of fans believing he’d be swallowed up by the Chelsea youth academy and fail to make a first team appearance for the club.

But Gilmour says the opportunity was too big to turn down and has highlighted how he isn’t yet ready for first team football – something he may have got already as a Rangers player.

Per scottishfa.co.uk, Gilmour said: “It was a big decision and I spent a lot of time thinking about it, but my ambition was always to play in the English Premier League.

“I thought I had to give it a shot and so far it’s been amazing. I love Rangers and will always be grateful for everything they did for me. Guys like Kenny Miller, Lee Wallace and Wes Foderingham treated me really well.

“But when I saw Chelsea’s development plan for me I just couldn’t turn it down. My aim has always been to play at the best level I could, to play ahead of my age and get the best coaching I can.

“Everyone is different and I look at my friend, Harry Cochrane, who is doing very well already in the first team at Hearts. People say I could have played already or sooner in the first team at Rangers but I’m not there yet. If I tried to match up to Scott Brown at the moment he would bully me in a full game because he’s the best midfielder, by far, in Scotland.

“Technically I might be okay but, from a physical point of view at the moment, I would have no chance. So if I wasn’t ready to play for Rangers at that point then I had to think about how I would develop.”

That’s a very measured approach to his career and shows that Gilmour wasn’t motivated by money in deciding to move to Chelsea last year.

The youngster is already among the best talent in the Stamford Bridge academy and you’d expect next season will be another big one for him and the club.

Now, however, he’ll have his sights set on Scotland’s clash with France later – with Scot Gemmill’s side in need of a victory after their opening game draw with Togo at the weekend.

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