Frank Lampard of Chelsea chose to debut Billy Gilmour on Jorginho against Crystal Palace. Both players have more to worry about than the other.
Since the restart, Frank Lampard has opted for a midfielder that included a sweep / hold midfielder flanked by two more creative and attacking players. To have the latter, the former is almost always necessary, which really leaves the job solely to N’Golo Kante. But the Frenchman was injured for Crystal Palace and Lampard had to find another option.
He selected Billy Gilmour who has not been in good shape since the end of the break. In addition, Jorginho was again left on the bench until late in the game, which raises many questions about his future.
And while the two players are in direct competition now, they have more to worry about than the other. Chelsea’s activity in the transfer market is a much more dangerous spectrum to fear than the others.
Chelsea have already signed Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner. These two alone offer no competition for Gilmour or Jorginho. The players to whom they provide competition could however be moved into Lampard’s mind to cause problems with Gilmour and Jorginho.
In fact, it probably has already happened. Mason Mount and Ross Barkley have been playing together in the midfield since the restart, which shortened the chances of the others starting. And since the two are such attacking players, a more defensive player was needed to balance them. Enter Kante and leave Jorginho and Gilmour who also cannot protect the defense.
Jorginho and Gilmour must play with Kante or Mateo Kovacic to be effective. The double eight in front of them would leave the midfielder far too open against smart opponents. Gilmour has at least time to adapt his game to that. Jorginho no.
But it’s not just Ziyech, Werner or the midfield options that are changing. Chelsea is not done in the market by all accounts. Kai Havertz’s rumors heat up daily and Declan Rice slowly enters the scene. The pace of Chelsea is going, there may be even more names than these two.
These two alone obstruct the midfield more. One solution could be to start selling current players to make room and that is the real concern for Jorginho and Gilmour. Jorginho has been looking more and more like a square peg in a round hole since the restart and, on the whole, he’s probably the most likely midfielder to leave. It could be used to finance Havertz or Rice transfers very effectively. Gilmour is unlikely to be sold, but his development will be halted if he is not loaned with Chelsea bringing in as many players.
Next: Chelsea: lessons learned as the Blues beat Crystal Palace
The two players have only a few games to win their place next season, not against each other but against the incoming players. Lampard wants a particular type of team and a particular type of midfielder and these places come at a high price. Gilmour showed his potential before the break and Jorginho’s brief cameo against Crystal Palace has shown what he can offer, but the two will have to give more to get a place in the future.