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Thomas Tuchel defends decision to keep Billy Gilmour at Chelsea

Thomas Tuchel has defended his decision to keep Billy Gilmour at Chelsea but admits the midfielder has ‘three big problems’ in front of him with N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho.

Gilmour has made just one appearance for Chelsea since Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard as manager at the end of January.

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The 19-year-old’s chances of featuring at the European Championship this summer are now under threat and he has been overlooked by Steve Clarke for the Scotland’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Austria, Israel and the Faroe Islands.

However, Tuchel has urged Clarke to reconsider Gilmour’s situation and insists the midfielder has been training at the ‘highest level’ at Chelsea.

Tuchel is also adamant that Gilmour is a vital part of Chelsea’s squad, despite his lack of playing time.

‘It’s absolutely no mistake,’ said Tuchel.

‘It was unfortunately not his choice. It was my choice. The choice was made for Chelsea and not for the personal goals of Billy.

‘He accepted it in a five-minute talk. I hope he knows how much I appreciate him.

‘He has three big problems: N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho.

‘I can only strongly recommend the Scottish national team to nominate him because this guy trains on the highest level. They should not be worried about his ability to compete.

‘We talk now several times because sometimes he does not make it to the 18 because we play with two central midfielders and I already have one of the three guys I mentioned on the bench.

‘But it does not mean like when you are out of the squad that you first have to find your way back to the bench. You can start the next game.

‘I am happy he is here. We need a strong four midfielders.’

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