Billy Gilmour has lifted the lid on the most recent transfer window, revealing that Frank Lampard turned down his request for a loan away from Chelsea in favour of staying and fighting for a place in the first-team setup.
The Blues legend took charge of the club over the summer but was faced with a summer without signings after the club was hit with a transfer embargo, leaving the new boss to promote a whole host of youth players to the senior side.
At just 18, the Scottish midfielder was one of the swathes of players presented with an opportunity to play for Chelsea by Lampard, making his Premier League debut earlier this season. Even though Lampard has demonstrated a desire to field a youthful side, Gilmour confirmed that he initially wanted to leave on loan, a decision manager felt was premature, urging the youngster to stay at Stamford Bridge.
"In pre-season the manager had a chat with me saying he knew I wanted to go on loan but said it would be better if I stayed," he said, via The Sun.
"Obviously it's working. He's looking at younger players. With the transfer ban it's hard but it's good experience for us. Hopefully, I can try to get more first-team games. He talks to you normally, tells you you're doing well and says if I want to keep training with them I need to keep my standards up."
Gilmour's rapid rise from the youth setup to the senior squad has taken the Glaswegian himself by surprise, after joining the club from Rangers in 2017. It's a move he's glad he made, with his ambition of becoming a Premier League regular now well within his sights.
"I wanted to follow my dream and to play in the Premier League and choosing Chelsea has turned out to be the right move. I'm enjoying it," he added.
"The plan for me was set up and I'm now ahead of the plan. I thought I was going to play two years at Under-18s but I played one at 18s and then moved on to the Under-23s. This year should be my first year at 23s but I'm one of the senior players."