Chelsea manager Frank Lampard was delighted with Billy Gilmour’s first start of the season for the London club. The 19-year-old played the entirety of the 1-1 draw with Krasnodar on Tuesday night.

It was only Gilmour’s second appearance of the season, and first start since July after he suffered a knee injury which led to a season-ending operation.

First start of the season

However, the player is now fully fit. After making a cameo appearance in the recent win over Sevilla, the starlet made a long-awaited start for the London club.

Chelsea FC v FC Krasnodar: Group E - UEFA Champions League

Billy Gilmour has an effort on goal (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Gilmour has been linked with a return to Scotland recently, with the Scottish Sun reporting that Rangers are keen to sign the player on loan in the January transfer window. A move which would see the midfielder return to the club he originally joined Chelsea from if it happens.

Expects player to challenge for first-team spot

Lampard did not comment on those rumours. What the Chelsea boss did say though is that he expects Gilmour to challenge regularly for a first-team spot this season now that his injury woes are behind him.

Chelsea FC v FC Krasnodar: Group E - UEFA Champions League

Billy Gilmour applauds the Chelsea support (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

That is a big vote of confidence in the player, given that Chelsea have a very competitive midfield complete with players that were signed for millions of pounds.

“I thought Billy was outstanding on his return, I felt very comfortable with him coming back in, he’s trained so well, done his rehab, and he deserved his chance tonight” he said (Sky Sports).

“So I expect to see more of the same from Billy as he gets stronger now he is past his injury” he concluded.

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