Brighton midfielder Billy Gilmour has revealed he got sent to the reserves in pre-season before his Chelsea exit.
The 22-year-old came through the Blues‘ academy, rising into the first team in 2019.
But after a season-long loan at Norwich, Gilmour was told he wasn’t part of the first-team plans, getting dumped back in the reserves as a result.
That’s despite Chelsea exercising an option to extend Gilmour’s contract to the end of the 2023/24 season earlier that summer.
“When I came back from my loan from Norwich, I came back and had pre-season and I just wasn’t in the plans,” the Scotland international told talkSPORT host Jim White.
“I ended up leaving pre-season with the first-team to go with the reserves. So we were in America for pre-season and then me and two other boys got told there’s not going to be really a chance here, we’re not going to have another opportunity, we’re going to send you with the reserves.
“For me, I was like, right, OK, straight away I knew I wasn’t in the plans, and at that point I was thinking, well, I want to be at a club that really appreciates me and I want to be part of the team. I want to play first-team football. I’ve had a taste for it. I’ve played for my country, so I want to try and push on now.
“For me, it was the right time to leave. I spoke with the manager at the time, Thomas Tuchel, and he thought the same.
“In pre-season, it kind of kept getting more and more that I was going to leave. I wasn’t seeing much chance in the first-team, so I took the decision and said, ‘OK, I want to push on now and do what’s best for me’, and that was to be at a club that appreciates me.
“I want to play football, I want to really settle down and try and find a house and home and be here and give my all.”
With 22 senior appearances for Chelsea under his belt, Brighton snapped Gilmour up for £9m later that summer, with the midfielder racking up as many games for the Seagulls as he did for the Blues.
He’s provided three assists in that time, as well as helping the club qualify for the Europa League for the first time ever last term, and he’s gone on to start three of Brighton’s games this season.
Meanwhile, Chelsea slumped to a 12th place finish in the Premier League last season and have had a slow start to this one, too, securing just one win so far.
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Source From: Football News, Transfers, Opinion – talkSPORT