Frank Lampard has made it clear that he didn’t select Billy Gilmour based on injury and suspension problems, stating that the youngster deserves the opportunity to make his Premier League debut.
The 18-year-old put in a Man of the Match performance in the FA Cup victory over Liverpool in midweek, which sets up a quarter-final tie against Leicester City.
N’Golo Kante is absent through injury and Jorginho is also sidelined after picking up his 10th yellow card of the season, but Lampard said that was not the main reason for Gilmour’s inclusion in the starting line-up.
“On one hand, yes it was an easy decision because he deserves to play, but I suppose on the other hand, we’ve got injuries and suspensions in the same area,” he told Sky Sports.
“But I don’t want that to be the reason that Billy is playing, he’s playing because he’s trained well all season, I said that pre-Liverpool, when he played very well, and I expect more of the same.
“He’s young, so I don’t want to heap too much on his shoulders, but I believe in him and I believe in the midfield. We’re young in there today but hopefully there’s a lot of energy and quality.”