Billy Gilmour will hold talks with Thomas Tuchel over his Chelsea future after dropping down from the first team’s tour of the United States.
Scotland midfielder Gilmour has joined Chelsea’s Under-23s tour in Salt Lake, rather than travelling to Charlotte and Orlando, after being told he would not play by Tuchel.
The move to send Gilmour to the U23s, with Harvey Vale, Tino Anjorin and Armando Broja also leaving the first team tour, could raise questions over why unwanted senior players such as Michy Batshuayi, Ross Barkley and Kenedy have remained with Tuchel’s squad.
With Broja set to join West Ham United, it now seems highly likely that Gilmour will leave Chelsea on loan for a second successive season and the 21-year-old will discuss his future with Tuchel when the pair both return to England.
Everton manager Frank Lampard is a big admirer of Gilmour and could try to take him on loan to Goodison Park, although it is believed Everton also have different midfield targets.
Gilmour experienced a difficult season on loan at Norwich City last season, when the club were relegated and he became the target of abuse from a section of supporters during a poor run of results.
Asked if that would put him off going on loan again this season, Gilmour said: “I’m a confident player. I’m back at Chelsea working hard in pre-season and then see what happens at the end. I’ve not had any conversation (with the manager) yet. I just need to wait and see when he speaks to me.”
Chelsea will be careful about where the club send Gilmour, whose contract runs to 2024, on loan after his experience at Norwich, when his family were forced to stop watching him play.
While Gilmour insisted he can come back stronger from his difficult season on loan, he admitted the experience was too much to take for his family who made the decision to stay away from Carrow Road.
“It was a difficult season,” said Gilmour. “I went there with the idea of trying to play my best and some games it worked and some games it didn’t, so I took some experience from that and it will help me going forward.”
Asked about the abuse he suffered, Gilmour added: “It’s the fans’ opinion. They come to watch games and pay for their ticket and they shout, but that has happened and it wasn’t nice to hear. I gave it my all and tried to work hard every game.
“Of course, it’s hard (not to let it get to you). It was also hard for my family. When you’ve got family in the stands and they’re shouting that it’s never nice, but I would just get my head down. I know what I’m good at, I’ll work hard on the field and try to get back.”
Gilmour was pictured with his father, Billy Sr, and mum Carrie holding the Norwich scarf when he first joined the club on loan. Asked how they coped with seeing him targeted, the former Rangers youngster said: “Of course it’s not nice. They stopped coming to the games, so it wasn’t nice. They weren't coming down for games at the weekend, just staying in the house.
“I just got my head down and worked. We had a good team, good players in the changing-room who all stuck by each other. It was tough, coming towards the end of the season, we all knew that. So I just had to get my head down, work hard in training and try to perform at the weekend.”