Thomas Tuchel’s comments after Chelsea’s defeat against Arsenal suggest Billy Gilmour could be playing elsewhere next season.
Chelsea were beaten 1-0 at Stamford Bridge, where youngster Gilmour started in midfield for them in the absence of the rested N’Golo Kante and injured Mateo Kovacic.
The Scot had an unhappy night, with boss Tuchel replacing him at half-time, sending on Callum Hudson-Odoi and deploying Mason Mount in a deeper role.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Tuchel defended Gilmour, insisting he gave an “absolutely OK” performance before being taken off.
But his withdrawal is bound to fuel speculation that Gilmour might not be at Chelsea next season because of the competition for places he faces.
And Tuchel seemed to acknowledge that Gilmour struggled against the Gunners.
Tuchel said: “Arsenal defended so deep and we wanted to have Mason there to have an offensive player.
“It was not because Billy was bad that we had a tactical change and tried to put more offensive power.
“Billy’s situation; we will talk after the season. Right now he’s here. He’s doing his job.
“It’s clear that it’s very hard for him because we lacked N’Golo and Mateo Kovacic in midfield.
“This is huge for us and it’s not fair to put it all on his shoulders. He was by far not the problem.”