Lampard must juggle Chelsea midfield after Gilmour ruled out
Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour could miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, leaving Frank Lampard with a mounting selection problem in midfield.
Gilmour, who has started two of Chelsea’s past four matches in all competitions, was substituted after 80 minutes of his side’s 3-2 win at Crystal Palace on Tuesday.
Lampard is also expected to be without midfielders N’Golo Kante, with a hamstring problem, and Mateo Kovacic, suffering an injured Achilles, ahead of tomorrow’s meeting with Sheffield United.
Gilmour, 19, has been one of the breakout stars of the second half of Chelsea’s campaign, impressing in midfield before football’s suspension in March.
The teenager’s injury is likely to provide more opportunities for Jorginho, who has not started a match for Chelsea since February. Jorginho made his first appearance since the lockdown, when he replaced Gilmour at Selhurst Park.
Lampard still has Ruben LoftusCheek, Mason Mount and Ross Barkley at his disposal for the trip to Bramall Lane tomorrow.
The full extent of Gilmour’s knee injury is not yet clear but it is feared he will miss the rest of the campaign.
Chelsea have four league games remaining and face Manchester United in their FA Cup semi-final this month.
Jorginho has fallen out of favour at Chelsea and has been linked with a return to Italy, but he was praised by Lampard for his role when he came on for Gilmour.
“He came on and showed personality, and we were lacking personality at that point,” Lampard said. “He got on the ball, moved it about and then you have control and you can force them back. The reason I played Billy does not mean anything for the future of Jorginho.
“We saw the impact Jorginho had in calming the team down and making passes. I know he can give us that and he will continue to give us that.”